PCA3 Test to Diagnose Cancer in Men with Prostatitis

Mast Cells and Chronic Prostatitis

A new study indicates that despite previous findings, high levels of PCA3 may be present in men who have prostatitis. The Prostate CAncer gene 3 (PCA3) is produced only by prostate cancer cells and has been believed not to be affected by prostate size (e.g., inflammation associated with prostatitis). This characteristic has led some experts to suggest using PCA3 testing in the general male population to help with early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Based on new discoveries, however, PCA3 testing may not always help diagnose prostate cancer in men with prostatitis (prostate inflammation). The team that arrived at that conclusion evaluated 260 urine samples (PCA3 is a urine test) from men with suspected prostate cancer. They then analyzed the fate of 16 men who had a PCA3 ratio greater than 100 and a prostate biopsy.

Sixty-five percent of the men had prostate cancer, and 65 percent of them were high grade. Among the men who did not have prostate cancer as shown by the biopsy, 83 percent had acute prostatitis at biopsy. Therefore, doctors should not assume that inflammation does not elevate PCA3 and also aware that some men who have extremely high PCA3 levels can have prostatitis.

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