Early Prostate Cancer Antigen (EPCA) and EPCA-2 have been demonstrated to be plasma-based markers for prostate cancer. EPCA is found throughout the prostate and represents a field effect associated with prostate cancer, whereas, EPCA-2 is found only in the prostate cancer tissue. However, EPCA-2 is able to get into the plasma, the liquid part of the blood, allowing for it to be detected by a blood test. In preliminary studies, EPCA-2 has been able to identify men with prostate cancer who had normal PSA levels. This data, however, is preliminary and further studies are needed to validate the sensitivity and specificity of these markers. Others are investigating the ability for urinary markers to detect prostate cancer, specifically alpha-methyl-acyl-CoA racemase (AMACR) and prostate cancer antigen 3 (PCA 3) urinary transcript levels obtained from urine sediments following digital rectal examination and pro-static massage.
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