Research Highlights

doi:10.1038/nindia.2014.95 Published online 16 July 2014

Twin markers for detecting prostate cancer

Researchers have found that ratio of two marker proteins can be used to detect prostate cancer and distinguish it from benign prostatic hyperplasia — a harmless enlargement of the prostate gland1. This parameter is potentially useful for diagnosing prostate cancer.

The researchers identified serum PSP94 as a major prostate protein in prostate cancer patients. They evaluated the ratios of serum PSP94 and serum prostate-specific antigen and used them to distinguish cancer patients from patients with enlarged prostate glands. To verify the utility of this parameter as a marker for prostate cancer, they measured the concentrations of these proteins in cancer patients, patients with enlarged prostates and healthy individuals.

The researchers measured the concentrations of the marker proteins and their ratios using a technique called serum-based sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. They found that the ratios of the levels of serum PSP94 and serum prostate-specific antigen could be used to differentiate cases of enlarged prostate gland from cases of prostate cancer with increased specificity.

In addition, they found significant differences between serum PSP94 levels in cancer patients and in patients with enlarged prostate glands. The results showed that the ratio of the levels of serum PSP94 and serum prostate-specific antigen had superior net benefit for identifying prostate cancer in patients opting for biopsy.

The researchers say that the ratio of the levels of serum PSP94 and serum prostate-specific antigen is a better marker for differentiating prostate cancers from cases of enlarged prostate gland than either of these marker proteins used on its own.


References

1. Mhatre, D. R. et al. Development of an ELISA for sPSP94 and utility of the sPSP94/sPSA ratio as a diagnostic indicator to differentiate between benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Clin. Chim. Acta 436, 256262 (2014)