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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2001 Feb;39(2):116-20.

Free and complexed prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the early detection of prostate cancer.

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Servicio de Análisis Clínicos, Hospital General Universitario de Elche, Partida Huertos y Molinos, Alicante, Spain.


We evaluated the analytical performance and diagnostic utility of complexed prostate-specific antigen (CPSA) and their ratios, complexed-to-total PSA (C/T PSA) and free-to-complexed PSA (F/C PSA), in comparison with the total PSA (TPSA) and free-to-total PSA ratio (F/T PSA) as means of diagnosing prostate cancer (PC). Samples (n=101) were drawn from men with no evidence of malignancy (n=80) and from men with PC (n=21) at biopsy. For determination of the F/T PSA ratio, the DPC Immulite-2000 method was used; and the Bayer Immuno-1 CPSA and TPSA assays were used to determine the C/T PSA ratio. The Bayer Immuno-1 CPSA assay provides accurate and precise CPSA values in human serum. The performance of the different forms and ratios was compared using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. CPSA had the greatest area under the curve (AUC, 0.689) although it was not statistically different from the other parameters. A cut-off value of 4.66 ng/ml for CPSA provided a specificity of 38% and a sensitivity of 93%. The F/C PSA ratio maintained a sensitivity of 93% and had an increased specificity of 41%. The measurement of CPSA provides a slight increase in specificity compared with the use of the TPSA in the early detection of prostate cancer.

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