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PCA3 molecular urine assay for prostate cancer: association with pathologic features and impact of collection protocols



PCA3 is a non-coding mRNA molecule that is overexpressed in prostate cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the utility of the PCA3 molecular urine test scores to predict adverse pathologic features and catheterized specimen collection.


Hundred men with clinically localized prostate cancer scheduled to undergo robotic prostatectomy were enrolled in the study following a standard consent process. The study protocol consisted of providing four urine samples. Voided urine obtained following digital rectal examination (DRE) pre-operatively (Vl), catheterized urine without DRE (V2), and l0-day and 6-week postoperative voided (V3 and V4) urine samples were collected and analyzed. These four urine specimens underwent target capture, transcription-mediated amplification, and hybridization in order to quantify both PCA3 and PSA mRNA. The PCA3 score was calculated as the ratio of PCA3 to PSA.


Informative rates (sufficient mRNA for analysis) for VI, V2, V3 and V4 were 91, 85, 0 and 2%, respectively. There was no significant associations with pathological stage, Gleason score >6. Higher PCA3 scores at V1 correlated with increased risk for perineural invasion (P = 0.0479).


Informative PCA3 scores can be obtained from post-DRE voided urine as well as catheterized urine without a DRE. The PCA3 test does not seem to predict adverse pathologic features, though, may have an association with perineural invasion. The ability of PCA3 score to predict clinical outcome remains to be determined.

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