Contributed by Allison A. Curley, Ph.D.
Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in American and European men1-2, and with almost 30,000 deaths in 2010, it is also one of the leading cancer killers3. The current primary clinical tests for prostate cancer screening are the digital rectal exam and the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood serum test. PSA, also known as kallikrein gene 3, is a serine protease produced exclusively by prostate cells that is elevated in response to cancer. However, PSA levels can also rise due to several other factors such as age and benign conditions that produce an enlarged prostate, and therefore the utility of PSA for the detection of prostate cancer is controversial4.
A number of other promising biomarkers to augment or replace the PSA test are currently under development5. Urine levels of prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3), a non-coding RNA, are not associated with prostate volume or noncancerous conditions, and are a better predictor of prostate cancer than PSA levels according to several recent studies6-7. However, whether the detection of PCA3 improves survival is uncertain, and a suitable cutoff for elevated prostate cancer risk must be established. Other biomarker candidates include the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion gene and additional members of the kallikrein family8.
Findings presented in May 2014 at the American Urological Association annual meeting may provide a novel approach to detect these biomarkers. Researchers found that dogs trained to detect the odor of prostate cancer-specific volatile organic compounds emitted from tumors are able to differentiate between urine samples from men with and without prostate cancer with an accuracy greater than 95%9.
Unlike other forms of cancer, prostate cancer often grows slow enough that treatment may never be required. In light of the significant side effects associated with prostatectomy, radiation, and other forms of treatment, differentiating patients in need of treatment from those who simply require vigilant monitoring is of utmost importance. Thus, along with the identification of disease biomarkers in general, the search for tests that can differentiate between aggressive and slow-growing forms of the disease is an active area of research5.
Bethyl antibodies for prostate cancer research are found here: https://www.bethyl.com/antibody/Cancer+Prostate+Cancer
Detection of human Fliamin B (red) in FFPE prostate carcinoma by IHC-IF. Antibody: Rabbit anti-Filamin B (IHC-00355). Secondary: DyLight® 594-conjugated goat anti-rabbit IgG (A120-201D4). Counterstain: DAPI (blue).