Molecular diagnosis of prostate cancer: PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusion.


Widespread prostate specific antigen screening together with the increase in the number of biopsy cores has led to increased prostate cancer incidence. Standard diagnostic tools still cannot unequivocally predict prostate cancer progression, which often results in a significant overtreatment rate. We present recent findings on PCA3 and TMPRSS:ERG fusion, and describe their clinical implications and performance.

The PubMed® database was searched for reports on PCA3 (130 articles), TMPRSS:ERG and ETS fusion (180 publications) since 1999.

In recent years advances in genetics and biotechnology have stimulated the development of noninvasive tests to detect prostate cancer. Serum and urine molecular biomarkers have been identified, of which PCA3 has already been introduced clinically. The identification of prostate cancer specific genomic aberrations, ie TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusion, might improve diagnosis and affect prostate cancer treatment.

Although several recently developed markers are promising, often showing increased specificity for prostate cancer detection compared to that of prostate specific antigen, their clinical application is limited. The only 2 true prostate cancer specific biomarkers identified to date remain PCA3 and TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusion.


The following biomarkers make reference to this publication:

  • Salagierski M
  • Schalken JA
PubMed ID
Appears In
J Urol, 2012, 187 (3)