Preliminary results from researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia show that a molecular-based urine test is capable of detecting early prostate cancer.
The test uses polymerase chain reaction technology to screen urine for hypermethylation at the glutathione-S-transferase (GSTP1) gene. GSTP1 hypermethylation is a specific marker since it is present in more than 90% of prostate cancers, but not in normal tissue or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
At the American Association for Cancer Research meeting this month in San Francisco, researchers presented results from a study that evaluated the test in 28 men with early prostate cancer. Urine and tumor specimens were taken from each of the men. Of the 28 tumor samples, 22 showed GSTP1 methylation. In six of these tumors, the corresponding urine DNA also was positive for GSTP1 methylation. No false-positive tests were reported.
Voelker R. Urine Test for Prostate Cancer. JAMA. 2000;283(16):2096. doi:10.1001/jama.283.16.2096-JQU00002-2-1