Early prostate cancer antigen-2

Early prostate cancer antigen-2

Early prostate cancer antigen-2 (EPCA-2) is a protein of which blood levels are elevated in prostate cancer. It appears to provide more accuracy in identifying early prostate cancer than the standard prostate cancer marker, PSA.

"EPCA-2" is not the name of a gene. EPCA-2 gets its name because it is the second prostate cancer marker identified by the research team.[1] This earlier marker was previously known as "EPCA",[2][3] but is now called "EPCA-1".

EPCA-2 versus PSA

Leman, Getzenberg and colleagues describe, in the April 2007 issue of Urology, the performance characteristic of EPCA-2, a novel nuclear protein marker for prostate cancer cells.[4] This paper has since been retracted by the publisher.

A study was initiated which suggested that the EPCA-2 protein serum assay exhibits favorable performance characteristics which are potentially superior to serum PSA. However more studies are necessary to see if this test will retain its sensitivity when used in a screening population.

In September 2008 the industry sponsor of EPCA-2, Onconome sued Dr Robert Getzenberg [1], JHU, and the University of Pittsburgh, his previous institution, claiming that Getzenberg misrepresented and falsified data related to EPCA-2 after Onconome sponsored 13 million dollars of research over five years in Getzenberg's labs at University of Pittsburgh and Johns Hopkins for a blood test for prostate cancer. Onconome claimed that the test was "essentially as reliable as flipping a coin."Robert H. Getzenberg (Ph.D-JHU 1992), first developed EPCA-2 as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins [2] and later as a faculty member at University of Pittsburgh. Getzenberg, former professor of Urology and Director of Research of the James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, left Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2013 for undisclosed reasons.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Johns Hopkins: Prostate Disorders on new EPCA-2 prostate cancer test". 
  2. ^ Paul B, Dhir R, Landsittel D, Hitchens MR, Getzenberg RH (May 2005). "Detection of prostate cancer with a blood-based assay for early prostate cancer antigen". Cancer Res. 65 (10): 4097–100.  
  3. ^ Dhir R, Vietmeier B, Arlotti J, et al. (April 2004). "Early identification of individuals with prostate cancer in negative biopsies". J. Urol. 171 (4): 1419–23.  
  4. ^ Leman ES, Cannon GW, Trock BJ, et al. (April 2007). "EPCA-2: a highly specific serum marker for prostate cancer". Urology 69 (4): 714–20.  
  5. ^ "Researcher, Two Universities Sued Over Validity of Prostate Cancer Test". 
  6. ^ "Onconome Sues Researcher, Pitt, and Hopkins for Alleged Research Fraud over Prostate Biomarkers". 

External links

  • Medical Today - EPCA-2: A Highly Specific Serum Marker For Prostate Cancer
  • consumeraffairs.com - Hopkins Researchers Find Better Blood Test for Prostate Cancer