Prostate Cancer Markers




Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Cancer occurs when cells of the prostate mutate and begin to multiply out of control. These cells may spread (metastasize) from the prostate to other parts of the body, especially the bones and lymph nodes. Prostate cancer may cause pain, difficulty in urinating, erectile dysfunction and other symptoms.


Rates of prostate cancer vary widely across the world. Although the rates vary widely between countries, it is least common in South and East Asia, more common in Europe, and most common in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is least common among Asian men and most common among black men, with figures for European men in-between. However, these high rates may be affected by increasing rates of detection.


Prostate cancer develops most frequently in men over fifty. This cancer can occur only in men, as the prostate is exclusively of the male reproductive tract. It is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, where it is responsible for more male deaths than any other cancer, except lung cancer. However, many men who develop prostate cancer never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other causes. Many factors, including genetics and diet, have been implicated in the development of prostate cancer.


Prostate cancer is most often discovered by physical examination or by screening blood tests, such as the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test. There is some current concern about the accuracy of the PSA test and its usefulness. Suspected prostate cancer is typically confirmed by removing a piece of the prostate (biopsy) and examining it under a microscope. Further tests, such as X-rays and bone scans, may be performed to determine whether prostate cancer has spread.





  • particularly when used with microwave heat retrieval, is a very sensitive positive marker for high-grade invasive urothelial carcinoma. PMID: 12558749

Alkaline Phosphatase

  • a marker for individual follow-up in patients with advanced prostatic cancer. PMID: 9096267

AMACR (alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase)

Apolipoprotein A-II


beta hCG

  • The demonstration of beta hCG in prostatic adenocarcinoma identifies a group of patients with poor prognosis, irrespective of histological grade. PMID: 8655711


  • a predictive marker of hormone-refractory prostate cancer treated with taxane-based chemotherapy. PMID: 17062688

  • Bcl-2psi may be a potential pre-metastatic marker for detection, diagnosis, and therapy during the initiation of metastasis in prostate cancer. PMID: 12821128

  • the bcl-2/bax ratio as a potential molecular marker for predicting radioresistance of prostatic tumors. PMID: 9836559


  • a novel prognostic marker for clinically confined human prostate cancer. PMID: 10582690

Chromogranin-A (CgA)

  • a potential marker for diagnosis, monitoring and management of prostate cancer patients. PMID: 16450720

  • Serum chromogranin A tends to be elevated in patients with high grade prostate cancer. When combined with PSA, this marker may effectively predict a poor prognosis after endocrine therapy. PMID: 11792908

  • has potential as a clinically useful serum and tumor marker for prostate cancer. PMID: 8693652

DPIV (Dipeptidylpeptidase IV)

  • Measuring DPIV levels in expressed EPS or post-digital rectal prostate examination urine may be useful for evaluating men for prostate cancer. PMID: 16094078


  • downregulation of E-cadherin expression plays a role in prostate carcinogenesis and invasiveness. PMID: 7506464

EMBP (estramustine-binding protein)

  • EMBP:DHT ratio before treatment may be a good indicator of the individual malignant potential of prostate cancers. PMID: 8653325

Endoglin (CD105)

  • marks principally small, probably newly formed tumor vessels in the prostate, and is a promising prognostic marker for prostate cancer patients. PMID: 11987155


Fatty Acid Synthase (FAS)

  • an early molecular marker of progression of prostatic adenocarcinoma to androgen independence. PMID: 11176534

gamma-Sm (gamma-Seminoprotein)

  • the level of serum gamma-Sm is a useful tumor marker as well as prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) in diagnosis and follow-up of the patients with prostatic cancer. PMID: 2467541

Glyoxalase I

  • Gly-I activity is indeed higher in cancerous than in noncancerous specimens, suggesting that it may play a role in prostate cancer homeostasis and survival. PMID: 9915484

HGF (Hepatocyte growth factor)

  • a tumor marker in the serum of patients with prostate cancer. PMID: 16508682



  • Measuring serum ICTP may be useful for detecting bone metastasis and prostate cancer progression, and may augment PSA and bone scan monitoring of metastatic bone activity. PMID: 11490307

  • determination of serum ICTP levels is useful in the assessment of bone metastasis and in monitoring the response of bone metastasis to treatment to prostate cancer. PMID: 10221259

IgBF (immunoglobulin gamma binding factor)

  • serum IgBF is a useful marker in the diagnosis of patients with prostatic tumor, and in evaluating the course of treatment. PMID: 7509484


  • serum IGF-I may be serving as a tumor marker rather than an etiologic factor in prostate cancer. PMID: 12873996

IGFBP-3 (insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3)

  • IGFBP-3/PSA ratio might be a useful prognostic marker of advanced prostate cancer. PMID: 12497585


  • quantitatively upregulated in prostate adenocarcinoma cells versus normal epithelial cells and is therefore a useful internal reference gene marker to evaluate the quality of prostate adenocarcinoma cell derived mRNA used for large scale prostate cancer cDNA gene profiling. PMID: 15870868


  • a prognostic marker of prostate cancer recurrence after radical prostatectomy. PMID: 8709308

LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)

  • human LDH-4/LDH-5 isoenzymes are useful parameters for monitoring the presence and growth of prostatic cancer in the athymic animal model. PMID: 3956838


  • may be a useful proliferation marker in prostatic neoplasia and warrants further evaluation as a complementary tool in the diagnosis of PIN and prostate carcinoma. PMID: 15452160


  • a valuable marker of seminal vesicle-ejaculatory duct and is useful for the differential diagnosis with prostate adenocarcinoma. PMID: 12657938


  • associated with strong metastatic potential in prostate cancer (CaP) in vitro, is a potential functional diagnostic marker. PMID: 16088330


  • a new marker kappable of predicting prostate cancer outcome. PMID: 16980232


  • an independent prognostic marker in clinically localized prostate cancer patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. PMID: 9815924


  • Using a combination of P504S and 34betaE12 can help the diagnosis of limited prostatic adenocarcinoma on needle biopsy. PMID: 12218573

  • a highly sensitive and specific positive marker for prostate carcinoma. PMID: 11684956


  • could be a useful diagnostic marker, and may also serve as a therapeutic target molecule for prostate cancer. PMID: 16033822

PCADM-1 (prostate cancer-associated diagnostic marker-1)

  • expressed by the luminal epithelial cells of prostate cancer, is a specific marker for human prostate cancer. PMID: 15073124

PCNA (Proliferating cell nuclear antigen)

  • PCNA labeling index in combination with Gleason grading system may be of clinical value in evaluating biologic features and also in predicting cause specific survival of prostate cancer in an objective, reliable and reproducible manner. PMID: 16834658



  • the serum concentrations of PICP and ICTP are quantitative markers of bone metastases from PCA when followed serially in individual patients. PMID: 9351545


  • a potentially excellent prognostic marker in Prostate cancer and suggests that Pin1 may also serve as a novel therapeutic target for Prostate cancer. PMID: 14559810

PSA (prostate-specific antigen)

  • the most useful serum marker for prostate cancer. PMID: 12581210

  • emerging as the best marker in oncology and had a profound impact on all aspects of prostate cancer care. PMID: 12024909

  • has had an enormous impact on the diagnosis and management of prostate cancer. PMID: 8707772

  • a useful tool in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer of the prostate and used together with the other diagnostic tests available. PMID: 1722962

  • a critical assessment of the most useful tumor marker for adenocarcinoma of the prostate. PMID: 1707989

  • a sensitive tumor marker for cancer of the prostate, is a useful for monitoring response to radiotherapy and may be a predictor of eventual failure thus identifying patients eligible for early intervention therapy as and when it becomes available. PMID: 1693877

  • an equally specific, but more sensitive marker of prostatic carcinoma compared to prostatic acid phosphatase. PMID: 1689677

  • the most sensitive marker in the detection of prostatic cancer. PMID: 1690653

  • appears to be a reliable tumor marker because there is minimal random fluctuation when serial levels are obtained in men with advanced prostate cancer. PMID: 2470927

  • PSA doubling time can also be used as a surrogate marker for prostate cancer-specific death. PMID: 16474622

  • a truncated precursor form of prostate-specific antigen is a more specific serum marker of prostate cancer. PMID: 11559576

  • PSA decline seems to be useful in predicting disease outcome after hormonal therapy. PMID: 10450001

  • analysis of PSA mRNA expression in specific areas in biopsy specimens of patients with untreated prostate cancer may provide a good assessment of prognosis of prostate cancers. PMID: 9748138

  • PSA-TZ could be a new accurate parameter for prostate cancer prediction in patients with PSA below 10 ng/ml. PMID: 9245203

  • the most useful marker for prostate cancer. PMID: 7508631

  • a more effective serum marker for prostatic carcinoma than ACP. PMID: 1279493

  • more sensitive than PAP in the detection of prostatic cancer and will probably be more useful in monitoring responses and recurrence after therapy. However, since both PSA and PAP may be elevated in benign prostatic hyperplasia, neither marker is specific. PMID: 2442609

PSMA (Prostate-specific membrane antigen)

  • highly expressed in prostate cancer cells and nonprostatic solid tumor neovasculature and is a target for anticancer imaging and therapeutic agents. PMID: 15837926

PSP94 (prostate secretory protein of 94 amino acids)

  • a marker in hormone therapy and the first rodent prostate cancer serum biomarker. PMID: 16278416

  • Patients with low total PSP94 levels had a high probability for having prostate cancer detected at biopsy. The total PSP94 level was able to help identify patients with high grade disease among a subset of patients in whom PSA and FTPSA are least informative. PMID: 16515983


  • loss of PTEN expression is an important factor in progression towards metastatic disease and could potentially serve as an early prognostic marker for prostate cancer metastasis. PMID: 17163422

Reg IV

  • a candidate marker for hormone refractory metastatic prostate cancer. PMID: 15788672


  • may behave as a specific histological marker and may represent a useful biomarker to predict aggressive phenotypic behavior of prostatic cancer cells. PMID: 17277764


RM2 antigen

RPL19 (ribosomal protein L19)

  • could be a valuable marker in prostate cancer diagnosis and patient management. PMID: 16609016


  • intense S100A6 expression in the basal cells of benign glands but loss of expression in cancer could be useful as a novel diagnostic marker for prostate cancer. PMID: 15280928

SAP (skeletal alkaline phosphatase)

  • a useful staging marker in prostate cancer and can contribute for an early detection of osteoblastic bone metastases. PMID: 9736988


  • might be important for clinical progress of human cancer and support the recent proposal of SIM2-s as a candidate for targeted therapy in prostate cancer. PMID: 17289882


  • expression could be a marker indicating the malignant potential of prostate cancer. PMID: 15053304

TRAP 5b (Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b)

  • a marker of bone metastases in patients with breast cancer and prostate cancer. PMID: 15514730

Trisomy 7

  • may be a common feature associated with local and metastatic progression and serve as a novel marker for human prostate cancer progression. PMID: 7507696


  • represents a prognostic marker and, as a plasma membrane Ca2+ channel, a promising target for new therapeutic strategies to treat advanced prostate cancer. PMID: 14586412

Urinary tissue factor (UTF)

  • UTF levels are elevated in untreated prostate cancer and reflect bone scan status. In patients with bone scan positive disease UTF also reflects disease activity and may therefore be a useful disease marker in prostate cancer. PMID: 7686076

Other Prostate Cancer Markers

  • the determination of tumor marker doubling time is of value for measuring the growth rates of prostate cancer, and for assessing prognosis after relapse. PMID: 7541360

  • combination of the TPAcyk and PSA results increased the sensitivity for prostate cancer, particularly in patients with metastatic disease. PMID: 7516071

  • Perineural invasion may be useful for risk-stratification of prostate cancer. PMID: 17398032

  • Morphometric sum optical density as a surrogate marker for ploidy status in prostate cancer. PMID: 16896895

  • free circulating DNA can be detected in patients with prostate cancer compared with disease-free individuals, and suggests a new, noninvasive approach for early detection of prostate cancer. PMID: 15490975

  • quantification of cell-free plasma DNA may have an important diagnostic role in distinguishing benign and malignant prostate disease. PMID: 15251943

  • detection of GSTP1 CpG island hypermethylation serves as a molecular marker in prostate cancer screening, detection, and diagnosis. PMID: 15029477

  • hydroxyproline may be a valuable marker in early staging, followup and evaluating treatment in prostatic cancer. PMID: 7420557

  • urinary hydroxyproline creatinine ratio is a very sensitive indicator of active bone metastases of prostatic cancer without dietary restriction. PMID: 2421558