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Urology. 1998 Sep;52(3):366-71.

Serum percent free prostate-specific antigen in metastatic prostate cancer.

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Department of Urology and Hutchison Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.



To define the serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) isoform profile in patients who have prostate cancer but do not have a prostate gland, that is, men who have had a previous radical prostatectomy (RP) and subsequently persistent disease as evidenced by elevated PSA. PSA can be reliably measured in the serum in two major isoforms: PSA complexed to alpha1-antichymotrypsin and uncomplexed free PSA (fPSA). Multiple investigations have illustrated the usefulness of the free/total PSA proportion (percent fPSA) in differentiating prostate cancer from benign prostate disease in patients who still have their prostate gland in situ.


Sera were evaluated from 52 men who underwent RP and postoperatively had increased PSA. fPSA and total PSA (tPSA) concentrations were determined using the Abbott AxSYM PSA assays. Percent fPSA was calculated for all patients.


Median tPSA was 5.45 ng/mL (range 0.93 to 214.99). Median fPSA was 0.69 ng/mL (range 0.11 to 54.93); the median percent fPSA was 13.3% (range 3.9% to 62.9%). There were 27 (52%) patients with percent fPSA less than 15%, 25 (48%) patients with greater than 15%, and 7 (13%) with greater than 30%. No significant relationship was found between percent fPSA and grade, stage, and severity of disease. Percent fPSA was significantly increased in patients who received hormonal, radiation, or combination treatment versus those who received no treatment (P = 0.02 to 0.0007).


Serum percent fPSA in men after RP with persistent prostate cancer encompasses a wide range of values with no clear stratifying factor or factors. These observations and further serial studies in patients with progressive metastatic disease may be important in determining the mechanism(s) for lower percent fPSA in men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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