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Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2004 Apr;64(2):93-100.

Quantification of prostate specific antigen mRNA levels in circulation after prostatic surgery and endocrine treatment by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction.

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Department of Clinical Chemistry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.


Various methods to detect prostatic cells in circulation have given conflicting results. This is probably because qualitative rather than quantitative methods have been used to detect mRNA from prostatic cells. A quantitative method has been developed based on reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of prostate specific antigen (PSA) mRNA in peripheral blood. A competitive internal mRNA standard was used for quantification of absolute amounts of PSA mRNA. The detection limit of the assay was 7 copies of mRNA, and the highest level of circulating PSA mRNA in 88 control subjects was 25 copies per milliliter of blood. This method was used to study the influence of prostatic surgery and endocrine treatment on prostatic cells in the circulation of 56 patients undergoing biopsy, radical prostatectomy, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), orchiectomy, or androgen blockade. Blood samples were drawn before, during and up to 26 weeks after these procedures had been carried out. The highest level of PSA mRNA in controls was 25 copies per milliliter of blood. After RP, TURP or orchiectomy, PSA mRNA levels increased above this level in 27%, 29%, and 25% of the samples, respectively. After prostate biopsy, two out of 15 patients became positive. PSA mRNA levels that were elevated by surgery became undetectable within 1-3 days. No significant correlation was found between PCR positivity and the clinical characteristics of the patients. It is concluded that the level of PSA mRNA in peripheral blood increases after prostatic surgery, indicating temporary dissemination of prostatic cells. However, preoperative levels do not correlate with serum PSA, stage or grade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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