Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

Serum Proteomic Profiling can Discriminate Prostate Cancer from Benign Prostates in Men with Total Prostate Specific Antigen Levels between 2.5 and 15.0 ng/mL

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The Journal of Urology






4 Pt 1

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PURPOSE: Artificial intelligence based pattern recognition algorithms have been developed and successfully used to analyze complex serum proteomic data streams generated by surface enhanced, laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. In the current study we used a high performance, hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer to generate discriminatory serum proteomic profiles to determine if this technology could be used to determine the need for prostate biopsy in men with elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Serum samples were collected from 154 men with serum PSA 2.5 to 15.0 ng/ml and/or abnormal digital rectal examination prior to transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy. Serum samples were applied to WCX2 (weak cation exchange protein chip) Protein Arrays (Ciphergen Biosystems, Fremont, California) by a Biomek 2000 robotic liquid handler (Beckman-Coulter, Chaska, Minnesota) and low molecular weight (less than 20 kDa) proteomic patterns were generated with an API QSTAR Pulsar i LC/MS/MS System (Applied Biosystems, Framingham, Massachusetts). High resolution mass spectra were analyzed with a pattern recognition bioinformatics tool, that is Proteome Quest beta version 1.0 (Correlogic Systems, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland), in an attempt to identify and discover key discriminating ion signatures. Serum samples from 63 men (2 or more negative prostate biopsies in 23, 1 negative biopsy in 10 and biopsy detected prostate cancer [CaP] in 30) were used to train the diagnostic algorithm. The remaining 91 samples, including 28 of prostate cancer and 63 of 1 or more negative biopsies, were analyzed in blinded fashion.

RESULTS: The most discriminatory model was found using the WCX2 chip. Testing the remaining 91 men with this model yielded 100% sensitivity and 67% specificity. In other words, if the proteomic pattern had been used to determine the need for prostate biopsy in this cohort of men with PSA between 2.5 and 15.0 ng/ml, 67% (42 of 63) with negative biopsies would have avoided unnecessary biopsy, while no cancers would have been missed.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that high resolution mass spectroscopy can generate serum proteomic patterns that discriminate men with elevated PSA due to benign processes from men with CaP even when PSA is within the diagnostic gray zone. We are currently expanding the testing set to determine the reliability of this new technology to decrease unnecessary prostate biopsies without compromising the detection of curable CaP.


Algorithms, artificial intelligence, biomarkers, tumor, biopsy, cohort studies, diagnosis, endosonography, mass spectrometry, prostate, prostatic hyperplasia, prostatic neoplasms, proteomics, robotics