Beyond PSA: the next generation of prostate cancer biomarkers.


Since the introduction of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening 25 years ago, prostate cancer diagnosis and management have been guided by this biomarker. Yet, PSA has proven controversial as a screening assay owing to several inherent limitations. The next wave of prostate cancer biomarkers has emerged, introducing new assays in serum and urine that may supplement or, in time, replace PSA because of their higher cancer specificity. This expanding universe of biomarkers has been facilitated, in large part, by new genomic technologies that have enabled an unbiased look at cancer biology. Such efforts have produced several notable success stories that involve rapidly moving biomarkers from the bench to the clinic. However, biomarker research has centered on disease diagnostics, rather than prognosis and prediction, which would address disease management. The development of biomarkers to stratify risk of prostate cancer aggressiveness at the time of screening remains the greatest unmet clinical need in prostate cancer. We review the current state of prostate cancer biomarker research, including the PSA revolution, its impact on early cancer detection, the recent advances in biomarker discovery, and the future efforts that promise to improve clinical management of this disease.


The following biomarkers make reference to this publication:

  • Chinnaiyan AM
  • Prensner JR
  • Rubin MA
  • Wei JT
PubMed ID
Appears In
Sci Transl Med, 2012, 4 (127)