A Urine Exosome Gene Expression Panel Distinguishes between Indolent and Aggressive Prostate Cancers at Biopsy

Indu Kohaar*, Yongmei Chen, Sreedatta Banerjee, Talaibek Borbiev, Huai Ching Kuo, Amina Ali, Lakshmi Ravindranath, Jacob Kagan, Sudhir Srivastava, Albert Dobi, Isabell A. Sesterhenn, Inger L. Rosner, Jennifer Cullen, Shiv Srivastava, Gyorgy Petrovics*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose:Prostate cancer is predominantly indolent at diagnosis with a small fraction (15% to 25%) representing aggressive subtype (Gleason score 7-10), which is prone to metastatic progression. It is critical to explore noninvasive assays for the early detection of this aggressive subtype, when it still can be treated effectively. Additionally, there is an emerging need to develop markers that perform equally well across races, as racial differences in the prevalence and mortality of prostate cancer has become evident.Materials and Methods:First catch, nondigital rectal examination urine specimens were collected from patients undergoing diagnostic biopsy. Total RNA was extracted from urinary exosomes and a quantitative expression assay protocol using droplet digital polymerase chain reaction was developed for detection of candidate genes in exosomal mRNAs from urine. Clinical performance for the gene expression assay was evaluated to predict high grade cancer (Gleason score 7-10) from low grade cancer (Gleason score 6) and cancer negative cases at biopsy. Assay performance was examined in combination with standard of care to determine improvement in model prediction.Results:In a racially diverse patient cohort a 2-gene panel (PCA3, PCGEM1), in combination with standard of care variables, significantly improved the prediction of high grade cancer at diagnosis compared to standard of care variables alone (AUC 0.88 vs 0.80, respectively, p=0.016). Decision curve analysis showed that there is a benefit of adopting the gene panel for detection of high grade cancer compared to standard of care alone.Conclusions:This study highlights the potential for developing broadly applicable prostate cancer diagnostic biomarker panels for aggressive prostate cancer using our novel gene expression assay platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-425
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarkers
  • diagnosis
  • prostatic neoplasms


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