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Urology. 1998 Jan;51(1):132-6.

Evaluation of prostAsure index in the detection of prostate cancer: a preliminary report.

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Department of Urology, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 77030, USA.



Although prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has revolutionized the detection of prostate cancer, it has definite limitations with respect to its clinical sensitivity and specificity. Because a substantial number (20% to 40%) of men undergoing radical prostatectomy have a PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL or less, any new test offering diagnostic improvement must perform well in patients whose PSA level is less than or equal to 4.0 ng/mL, as well as in patients whose PSA is greater than 4.0 ng/mL. The performances of two tests, the ProstAsure index and the percent free PSA test, were evaluated in detecting cancer.


We retrospectively analyzed serum samples from 225 men who were grouped into three categories: 94 men who had a normal digital rectal examination and a serum PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL or less, 77 men who were clinically suspected of having benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) with a serum PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL or less, and 54 men with localized prostate cancer. The PSA assays were performed using the Hybritech and Tosoh assays and the ProstAsure index was determined by Global Health Net, Savannah, Ga. Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to evaluate the performance of these two tests, and the areas under the curve were compared for significance.


The sensitivity and specificity of detecting prostate cancer using ProstAsure were 93% and 81%, respectively. Using a cutoff value of 15%, the sensitivity and specificity of detecting cancer for percent free PSA were 80% and 74%, respectively (sensitivity increased to 93% and specificity to 59% for free PSA at 19%). In men with a total serum PSA level of 4.0 ng/mL or less, ProstAsure had a lower false-positive rate compared to free PSA level at 19% for men with or without clinical BPH as well as for men without clinical BPH using a 15% free PSA threshold. ProstAsure left fewer cancers undetected (7%) compared to free PSA at the 15% cutoff (20%).


In this study of selected men, ROC curve analysis shows a statistically significant advantage in performance (P = 0.0023) for the ProstAsure index compared to free PSA in detecting prostate cancer.

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