Transforming growth factor beta as a clinical biomarker for prostate cancer

Urology. 1997 Jan;49(1):151-5. doi: 10.1016/S0090-4295(96)00426-8.


Objectives: Tumor biomarkers to detect prostate cancer earlier may reduce prostate cancer deaths. Transforming growth factor-beta1 and -beta2 (TGF-beta1 and -beta2) become overexpressed in prostate cancer and might be useful tumor markers of prostate cancer.

Methods: Plasma and urinary TGF-beta1 and plasma TGF-beta2 levels were studied preoperatively in 74 consecutive patients who had prostate cancer and underwent radical prostatectomy and were compared with those of 29 similarly aged male control patients who had no clinical evidence of prostate cancer.

Results: Plasma TGF-beta1 levels were similar in both prostate cancer and control groups and did not correlate with serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA), clinical and pathologic stages, or Gleason grade. Urinary TGF-beta1 levels, however, increased 3.5-fold in patients with prostate cancer relative to controls and tended to be higher with advancing clinical and pathologic stages. Plasma TGF-beta2 levels, like plasma TGF-beta1 levels, were similar for both the study and control groups, but when stratified by pathologic stage or Gleason grade, patients with prostate cancer with pathologic Stage T2a and Gleason grade of 3 or less had significantly increased plasma TGF-beta2 levels as compared with either control patients or patients with prostate cancer with pathologic Stages T2b/T2c and T3/T4 or Gleason grade of 4 or more, suggesting that early prostate cancer may contribute to plasma TGF-beta2 levels.

Conclusions: Unlike plasma TGF-beta1 levels, urinary TGF-beta1 and plasma TGF-beta2 levels were higher in patients with prostate cancer and may be useful biomarkers of prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta