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Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3)



Prostate cancer gene 3 (PCA3) is one of the most prostate cancer specific genes identified, with over-expression in approximately 95% of cancers tested. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.


The PCA3 test is a new non-invasive diagnostic test for prostate cancer with a high specificity and positive predictive value compared to current PSA testing, or to biopsies which are invasive and subject to missing malignant cells through sampling error.


How the PCA3 assay works?


The PCA3 assay (Progensa PCA3, previously known as the uPM3 assay from DiagnoCure) is the new tool available to improve the diagnosis of prostate cancer in a simple urine test. It is an amplified nucleic acid assay, which uses transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) to quantify PCA3 and PSA mRNA in prostate cells found in whole urine samples. The PCA3 score is calculated as the ratio between PCA3 and PSA mRNA. This test is CE marked since November 2006.


Benefits of PCA3 test?


In most patients, Prostate Cancer symptoms do not develop when the tumor is still localized. Consequently, today early diagnosis of Prostate Cancer relies heavily on serum prostate specific antigen (PSA) concentration and digital rectal examination (DRE). The outcome of both tests can trigger the performance of a prostate biopsy to confirm the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer.

PCA3 test provides earlier identification of disease, reduced mortality or increased survival and potential reduction of unnecessary biopsies. Moreover, it has been reported that PCA3 urinary transcript levels are more accurate than serum Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) levels. In the same population, the mean serum PSA concentration is increased with larger prostate volumes whereas the mean PCA3 score is not influenced by prostate volume. PCA3 scores of collected urine sediments following digital rectal examination and prostatic massage provided a significant discrimination between patients with prostate cancer and those with a negative biopsy.



Performing PCA3 test?
  1. Perform DRE: apply enough pressure on prostate so as to release maximum prostate cells into urine.
  2. Collect and transfer first-catch urine into transport medium at room temperature, and send to the laboratory.




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