Can the urinary test uPM3 by Bostwick Laboratories (Glen Allen, Va.) replace biopsy for the diagnosis of prostate cancer? In this test, a urine sample taken after a 30-second prostatic massage is sent overnight to the lab. I have observed a 100% correlation rate with prostate biopsy.
—Nicholas Powers, DO, Wapakoneta, Ohio
The uPM3 test is a molecular biologic assay for detecting RNA expression of the PCA3 gene in urine specimens, using the nucleic acid sequence-based amplification technique. As described by Dr. Powers, this test is done on the first 20 cc of urine voided following prostatic massage. This test is currently intended as a further screening tool for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, especially in those patients who have a borderline PSA value or an elevated PSA value with a prior negative biopsy. A positive test result implies a high likelihood of prostate cancer, which would then lead to the need for a prostate biopsy.
—David T. Noyes, MD (112-18)