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Cancer Res. 2002 Jul 1;62(13):3609-14.

Serum protein fingerprinting coupled with a pattern-matching algorithm distinguishes prostate cancer from benign prostate hyperplasia and healthy men.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia 23501, USA.


The prostate-specific antigen test has been a major factor in increasing awareness and better patient management of prostate cancer (PCA), but its lack of specificity limits its use in diagnosis and makes for poor early detection of PCA. The objective of our studies is to identify better biomarkers for early detection of PCA using protein profiling technologies that can simultaneously resolve and analyze multiple proteins. Evaluating multiple proteins will be essential to establishing signature proteomic patterns that distinguish cancer from noncancer as well as identify all genetic subtypes of the cancer and their biological activity. In this study, we used a protein biochip surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry approach coupled with an artificial intelligence learning algorithm to differentiate PCA from noncancer cohorts. Surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry protein profiles of serum from 167 PCA patients, 77 patients with benign prostate hyperplasia, and 82 age-matched unaffected healthy men were used to train and develop a decision tree classification algorithm that used a nine-protein mass pattern that correctly classified 96% of the samples. A blinded test set, separated from the training set by a stratified random sampling before the analysis, was used to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the classification system. A sensitivity of 83%, a specificity of 97%, and a positive predictive value of 96% for the study population and 91% for the general population were obtained when comparing the PCA versus noncancer (benign prostate hyperplasia/healthy men) groups. This high-throughput proteomic classification system will provide a highly accurate and innovative approach for the early detection/diagnosis of PCA.

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