Urinary biomarkers for prostate cancer.


The field of urology has been beset by several major trends that have affected the early detection of prostate cancer. These stem primarily from a backlash against overdiagnosis due to prostate specific antigen-based screening efforts and are epitomized by the US Preventive Services Task Force giving prostate specific antigen-based prostate cancer screening a 'D' recommendation. Consequently, the active surveillance strategy for low-risk prostate cancer has become commonplace, leading many to ask how best to follow these patients. More importantly, this public outcry has shifted the focus of early detection from an effort to diagnose any and all prostate cancers to an effort to diagnose only 'high-risk' cancer. Along with a trend for minimally invasive procedures, these forces have challenged the early detection field to more efficiently identify clinically significant prostate cancers at an early stage while limiting the number of biopsies.

With US Food and Drug Administration approval, prostate cancer antigen 3 has emerged as the first bona-fide urinary biomarker for prostate cancer. Using the same platform, investigators have developed a second urinary test based on TMPRSS2:erg fusion. Recent literature supports the use of these biomarkers as a combined panel that improves risk evaluation in the setting of prostate cancer detection. Early works for applying urinary biomarkers for active surveillance are underway. Other biomarkers in the pipeline will require further prevalidation and validation work.

Recent literature would support that urinary biomarkers have a clear role to supplement risk evaluation for men undergoing prostate biopsy and for prognostication.

  • Wei JT
PubMed ID
Appears In
Curr Opin Urol, 2015, 25 (1)