Urinary markers aiding in the detection and risk stratification of prostate cancer

Nicholas Raja, Christopher M. Russell, Arvin K. George


The purpose of this review is to highlight the role of existing and promising urinary biomarkers for the detection and prognostication of prostate cancer (PCa). A number of novel urinary biomarkers have been introduced into the clinical space, which in combination with clinical variables, have demonstrated an increased ability to select patients for biopsy and identify men at risk of harboring clinically significant PCa. Though a number of assays require further validation, initial data is promising and forthcoming results will ultimately determine their clinical utility and commercial availability. For the past 30 years, first-line screening for PCa has relied on measurement of serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels and the results from a digital rectal exam (DRE). A large body of evidence from the last 3 decades indicates that these screening methods are problematic, and often inadequate for detecting clinically significant PCa. Extensive efforts have recently been made to identify and commercialize novel PCa biomarkers for more effective detection of PCa, either alone or in combination with current screening methods. This review article highlights problems with current screening standards, and discusses 6 urinary biomarker assays in terms of their ability to detect and risk-stratify PCa: prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA3), TMPRSS2-ERG, second chromosome locus associated with prostate-1 (SChLAP1), ExoDx, SelectMDx, and Michigan Prostate Score (MiPS).