Cancer research

Pentraxin 3: a novel biomarker for predicting progression from prostatic inflammation to prostate cancer.

PMID 24950910


Pentraxin-3 (PTX3) is a member of the pentraxin family of innate immune regulators, which includes C-reactive protein (CRP). PTX3 has been implicated in angiogenesis, proliferation, and immune escape in cancer. In the present study, we evaluated PTX3 tissue expression and serum concentration as a biomarker to discriminate prostatic inflammation and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) from prostate cancer, and to determine whether PTX3 status may predict progression from BPH to prostate cancer. We analyzed 40 patients with biopsy-proven BPH who underwent a second prostate biopsy 12 to 36 months later when they were diagnosed with prostate cancer or inflammation/BPH (n = 20 patients each group). Furthermore, we evaluated PTX3 serum concentrations in an independent set of patients with biopsy-proven inflammation/BPH (n = 61) and prostate cancer (n = 56). We found reduced PTX3 tissue expression in patients with prostatic inflammation/BPH compared with patients who developed prostate cancer. In the latter group, there was an increase in PTX3 tissue expression between the first and second prostate biopsy. PTX3 serum levels were also higher in patients with prostate cancer than in patients with inflammation/BPH. In contrast, there was no difference in serum PSA or CRP levels in these two groups. ROC curve analysis confirmed the reliability of PTX3 serum levels in predicting prostate cancer development, identifying a cutoff value of 3.25 ng/mL with a sensitivity and a specificity of 89.3% and 88.5%, respectively. In summary, our results encourage further evaluation of PTX3 as a tissue biopsy and blood-borne biomarker to discriminate BPH from prostate cancer.