News Note: Multi-center Study Validates ProPSA Test for Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

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  • Posted: May 6, 2010
NCI Press Office


Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. Prostate cancer can be found by testing the amount of PSA in the blood where it either attaches to blood proteins or circulates freely (free PSA).  Past studies have found a form of free PSA, called proenzyme PSA (pro-PSA), to be elevated in cancerous prostate tissue. Results from a multi-center study, supported by the NCI Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), have validated proPSA as a detector of early stage prostate cancer. Further, findings suggest that proPSA may be associated with aggressive and significant prostate cancer, worthy of further investigation. The study results can be found at

EDRN research teams measured serum PSA, free PSA and proPSA in the blood samples of 566 men that were collected before biopsy at four separate clinical sites. The trial participants were over age 40 with no prior prostate surgery or history of prostate cancer. Biopsy results found that 245 men had prostate cancer. The research teams validated the use of proPSA for early detection of prostate cancer showing potential for use in the 2-10 ng/ml total PSA range and demonstrated the use of combining proPSA with other PSA forms.