Prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) RNA detection in blood and tissue samples for prostate cancer diagnosis

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Background:The non-coding prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3) RNA is currently the most specific biomarker for prostate cancer (PCa) diagnosis. Although its clinical value has been validated in a urine assay after intensive prostatic massage, few studies have been conducted to establish its diagnostic value in the peripheral blood (PBL). The aim of the present study was to examine the PCA3 expression in blood as a diagnostic tool, and to provide an additional strategy to improve PCa diagnosis.Methods:PCA3 transcripts were detected by RT-PCR in PBL and prostatic tissues from patients. PBL sampling also included a group of young healthy volunteers. The relationship between the PCA3 RNA detection and clinical characteristics was analyzed.Results:PCA3 detection in blood presented 94% specificity and 32% sensitivity, and its combined detection in tissues significantly improved diagnostic parameters. However, PCA3 RNA detection in blood was also associated with PSA levels ≥10 ng/mL, and their combination provided a sensitivity of 60% and specificity of 93%.Conclusions:Detection of the PCA3 RNA in patients’ blood is an efficient tool for PCa diagnosis because it allows a routine collection procedure, which is also supported by the ongoing screening marker, prostate-specific antigen (PSA). We propose its combined use with PSA levels ≥10 ng/mL, which improves accuracy, and prevents overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

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