Evaluation of a short RNA within the Prostate Cancer Gene 3 in the predictive role for future cancer using non-malignant prostate biopsies

See below the abstract for Karl Pang's fantastic Prostate Cancer research undertaken at Sheffield University.  The paper was published on April 5, 2017 in PLOS ONE.

To download a PDF of the full paper, please click here.

Evaluation of a short RNA within Prostate Cancer Gene 3 in the predictive role for future cancer using non-malignant prostate biopsies

Karl H. Pang, Derek J. Rosario, Susan L. Morgan, James W. F. Catto



Prostate Cancer 3 (PCA3) is a long non-coding RNA (ncRNA) upregulated in prostate cancer (PCa). We recently identified a short ncRNA expressed from intron 1 of PCA3. Here we test the ability of this ncRNA to predict the presence of cancer in men with a biopsy without PCa.


We selected men whose initial biopsy did not identify PCa and selected matched cohorts whose subsequent biopsies revealed PCa or benign tissue. We extracted RNA from the initial biopsy and measured PCA3-shRNA2, PCA3 and PSA (qRT-PCR).


We identified 116 men with and 94 men without an eventual diagnosis of PCa in 2±5 biopsies (mean 26 months), collected from 2002±2008. The cohorts were similar for age, PSA and surveillance period. We detected PSA and PCA3-shRNA2 RNA in all samples, and PCA3 RNA in 90% of biopsies. The expression of PCA3 and PCA3-shRNA2 were correlated (Pearson's r = 0.37, p<0.01). There was upregulation of PCA3 (2.1-fold, t-test p = 0.02) and PCA3-shRNA2 (1.5-fold) in men with PCa on subsequent biopsy, although this was not significant for the latter RNA (p = 0.2). PCA3 was associated with the future detection of PCa (C-index 0.61, p = 0.01). This was not the case for PCA3-shRNA2 (C-index 0.55, p = 0.2).


PCA3 and PCA3-shRNA2 expression are detectable in historic biopsies and their expression
is correlated suggesting co-expression. PCA3 expression was upregulated in men with PCa
diagnosed at a future date, the same did not hold for PCA3-shRNA2. Futures studies should
explore expression in urine and look at a time course between biopsy and PCa detection.

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