Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and there is an urgent clinical need to improve its detection and treatment.
The introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) as a biomarker for prostate cancer several decades ago represented an important step forward in our ability to diagnose this disease and offers the potential for earlier and more effective treatment. PSA measurements are now routinely conducted alongside digital rectal examination, with raised PSA levels leading to biopsy. PSA is also used to monitor disease and assess therapeutic response. However, there are some important limitations to its use, not least its lack of specificity for prostate cancer, and increased PSA screening may have resulted in overdiagnosis and overtreatment of early, low-risk prostate cancer. Therefore, there is a need for more specific and sensitive biomarkers for the diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer and treatment response; in particular, biomarkers of response to hormonal treatments in prostate cancer and predictive biomarkers to identify who is most likely to respond to these treatments. Here we review the current utilization of PSA and data on potentially more specific and sensitive biomarkers for the diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer: prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) and the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion gene. A description of the design of an ongoing study of the 6-month extended release formulation of leuprorelin acetate (Eligard® 45 mg) will provide preliminary data on the potential utility of these new biomarkers for detecting therapeutic response after hormonal therapy.
Schalken J, Dijkstra S, Baskin-Bey E, van Oort I. Are you the author?
Department of Urology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Postbus 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Department of Urology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands; Astellas Pharma Europe, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Reference: Ther Adv Urol. 2014 Dec;6(6):245-52.