Discovery may lead to a noninvasive way to detect premalignant high-grade PIN cells.

MacroArray Technologies reported a novel urine protein called ABCA5 as a sensitive diagnostic marker for high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), the precancerous lesion of the prostate.

Men with high-grade PIN are at the biggest risk for developing prostate cancer with approximately 50% developing prostate cancer within three years of diagnosis and 80% within eight years. Currently, high-grade PIN can only be diagnosed by prostate biopsy in patients with an elevated serum PSA or an abnormal digital rectal exam. About 5–10% of patients who undergo a prostate biopsy will be found to have high-grade PIN.

“The assay for the ABCA5 protein offers a convenient and noninvasive way to detect premalignant high-grade PIN cells,” points out Mark E. Stearns, CSO of MacroArray Technologies. “The ABCA5 assay, if successfully developed and approved for marketing by the FDA, would be the first urine diagnostic marker capable of detecting high-grade PIN.”

Details of the marker’s identification were published in the February issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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