[proPSA: a precursor of prostate-specific antigen, may improve the early diagnosis of prostate cancer].

Ben Ami Sela*, Ram Doolman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Since its introduction as a mass-screen parameter for early detection of prostate cancer, PSA was credited for a significant revolution in the management of prostate disease. But over 2 decades of global experience with this marker have emphasized that the recommended threshold value of 4.0 ng/ml may not be valid in distinguishing tumor growth from benign proliferation of the prostate in over 30% of the cases. Hence, more advanced tools of PSA evaluation have been introduced such as "PSA velocity", "PSA density" or age-related PSA". Recently, precursor molecules of PSA were identified, which are assumed to be zymogen structures devoid of proteolytic activity. These precursor species known as pro-PSAs possess an additional "tail" ranging in size from 2 to 7 extra amino acids at the N terminus of PSA, and represent a fraction of the non-complex or "free PSA", that has usually been identified as a marker for non-cancerous proliferation of the prostate. Interestingly, one of these proPSA structures in particular, [-2]proPSA, has demonstrated to be more specifically indicative of prostate tumor growth in numerous clinical studies. Lately, a chemiluminescence kit has been approved by the European Health Agency as a more specific marker for diagnosis of prostate malignancy, mostly in men with PSA levels ranging from 2-10 ng/ml.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-469, 489
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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