Use of human glandular kallikrein 2 for the detection of prostate cancer: Preliminary analysis

Alan W. Partin, William J. Catalona, Judith A. Finlay, Claude Darte, Donald J. Tindall, Charles Y.F. Young, George G. Klee, Daniel W. Chan, Harry G. Rittenhouse, Robert L. Wolfert, David L. Woodrum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Objectives. Human glandular kallikrein 2 (hK2) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) are members of a multigene family of serine proteases that share approximately 80% sequence homology. Both are expressed in the prostate epithelium, are under androgen regulation, are present in serum and seminal fluid, and can form complexes with endogenous protease inhibitors (eg, alpha2-macroglobulin and alpha1-antichymotrypsin). Differences in immunohistochemistry and substrate specificity suggest hK2 may provide unique information for early detection and characterization of prostate cancer. Methods. Nine hundred thirty-seven archived serum samples from men treated at two academic institutions were studied. All men underwent biopsy, had a histologically confirmed diagnosis of cancer or noncancer, and a total PSA level greater than 2 ng/mL. Samples were tested in Hybritech's Tandem-R PSA and Tandem-R free PSA (fPSA) assays and a research prototype assay for total hK2 (thK2). Results. The thK2/fPSA ratio provided additional specificity for cancer detection over PSA and the percentage of fPSA (%fPSA). A model for cancer detection using %fPSA and the thK2/fPSA ratio when PSA is 2 to 4 ng/mL is proposed that would identify as many as 40% of the cancers and would require biopsy in only 16.5% of the men in this PSA range. Conclusions. In this study, %fPSA and thK2/fPSA provided unique information for prostate cancer detection and increased the specificity of cancer detection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-845
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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