Emerging biomarkers of prostate cancer (Review)

Sarah K. Martin, Taylor B. Vaughan, Timothy Atkinson, Haining Zhu, Natasha Kyprianou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer progression involves activation of signaling pathways controlling cell proliferation, apoptosis, anoikis, angiogenesis and metastasis. The current PSA-based test for the diagnosis of prostate cancer lacks sensitivity and specificity, resulting in missed diagnoses and unnecessary biopsies. Intense research efforts to identify serum and tissue biomarkers will expand the opportunities to understand the functional activation of cancer-related pathways and consequently lead to molecular therapeutic targeting towards inhibition of tumor growth. Current literature describes multiple biomarkers that indicate the properties of prostate cancer including its presence, stage, metastatic potential and prognosis. Used singly, assays detecting these biomarkers have their respective shortcomings. Several recent studies evaluating the clinical utilization of multiple markers show promising results in improving prostate cancer profiling. This review discusses the current understanding of biomarker signature cluster-based approaches for the diagnosis and therapeutic response of prostate cancer derived from panels of biomarker tests that provide a selective molecular signature characteristic of the tumor. As these signatures are robustly defined and their pathways are exhaustively dissected, prostate cancer can be more accurately diagnosed, characterized, staged and targeted with inhibitory antitumor agents. The growing promise surrounding the recent evidence in identifying and utilizing such biomarker panels, will lead to improvement in cancer prognosis and management of the therapeutic response of prostate cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-417
Number of pages9
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Biomarkers
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate specific antigen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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