Biomarkers of Aggressive Prostate Cancer at Diagnosis

Brock E. Boehm, Monica E. York, Gyorgy Petrovics, Indu Kohaar*, Gregory T. Chesnut*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In the United States, prostate cancer (CaP) remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. CaP is predominantly indolent at diagnosis, with a small fraction (25–30%) representing an aggressive subtype (Gleason score 7–10) that is prone to metastatic progression. This fact, coupled with the criticism surrounding the role of prostate specific antigen in prostate cancer screening, demonstrates the current need for a biomarker(s) that can identify clinically significant CaP and avoid unnecessary biopsy procedures and psychological implications of being diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer. Although several diagnostic biomarkers are available to clinicians, very few comparative trials have been performed to assess the clinical effectiveness of these biomarkers. It is of note, however, that a majority of these clinical trials have been over-represented by men of Caucasian origin, despite the fact that African American men have a 1.7 times higher incidence and 2.1 times higher rate of mortality from prostate cancer. Biomarkers for CaP diagnosis based on the tissue of origin include urine-based gene expression assays (PCA3, Select MDx, ExoDx Prostate IntelliScore, Mi-Prostate Score, PCA3-PCGEM1 gene panel), blood-based protein biomarkers (4K, PHI), and tissue-based DNA biomarker (Confirm MDx). Another potential direction that has emerged to aid in the CaP diagnosis include multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) and bi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (bpMRI), which in conjunction with clinically validated biomarkers may provide a better approach to predict clinically significant CaP at diagnosis. In this review, we discuss some of the adjunctive biomarker tests along with newer imaging modalities that are currently available to help clinicians decide which patients are at risk of having high-grade CaP on prostate biopsy with the emphasis on clinical utility of the tests across African American (AA) and Caucasian (CA) men.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2185
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarkers
  • diagnosis
  • prostate cancer
  • race


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