Clinical assessment of the cancer diagnostic value of prostatic zinc: A comprehensive needle-biopsy study

M. Cortesi, E. Fridman, A. Volkov, S. Sh Shilstein, R. Chechik, A. Breskin, D. Vartsky, N. Kleinman, G. Kogan, E. Moriel, V. Gladysh, M. Huszar, J. Ramon, G. Raviv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. The correlation between Zinc concentration in the prostate's peripheral zone to the onset or presence of malignant process needs to be evaluated in detail. METHODS. Zinc concentration was measured in ∼1-4 mm3 segments of fresh needle-biopsy cores, with X-ray fluorescence, and correlated with the histological findings of these tissue segments. RESULTS. Local Zinc concentration is correlated with the presence of cancer (PCa); the higher the Gleason score the greater the Local Zinc depletion. The Zinc value averaged over the entire extracted tissue is specific only to Gleason score 8-9 PCa. The results refer to patients avoiding Zinc-rich supplements since those show elevated prostatic Zinc concentration in identified cancer tissue. A computer simulation analysis of randomly located 0.03-3.3 cm3 lesions, with particular Gleason score and the measured Local Zinc concentration, revealed a potential diagnostic approach definitely superior to PSA, with sensitivity to the tumor grade and with excellent detection capability for Gleason score >6. Further clinical studies have been designed, both on full prostates after radical prostatectomy as well as on biopsy cores at higher resolution, to establish the accuracy of the method for Gleason score = 6. CONCLUSIONS. The PCa diagnostic potential of Local Zinc concentration is confirmed and there is indication that the amount of Zinc depletion could be used as a measure of the Gleason score of the tumor. Local Zinc concentration mapping has the potential to improve patient selection for biopsy, biopsy site selection and local therapy (e.g., Cryotherapy, Brachytherapy) site selection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-1006
Number of pages13
Issue number9
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Local therapy control
  • Needle biopsy
  • PCa detection ROC curves
  • PSA
  • Patient selection for biopsy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostatic Zinc concentration


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