• Biomarker;
  • Clinical trial;
  • Disease recurrence;
  • Prostate cancer;
  • Radiation therapy


Combined hormone and radiation therapy (CHRT) is one of the principle curative regimes for localised prostate cancer (PCa). Following treatment, many patients subsequently experience disease recurrence however; current diagnostics tests fail to predict the onset of disease recurrence. Biomarkers that address this issue would be of significant advantage.

Experimental design

Label-free LC-MS/MS for protein biomarker discovery and MRM for targeted confirmation were applied to patient serum samples accrued in a non-interventional clinical trial of CHRT.


Analysis of time-matched patient samples from a patient with disease recurrence compared with a time match disease-free individual supported the identification of 287 proteins. Of these, 141 proteins were quantified, 95 proteins changed in their expression (P ≤ 0.05 and ≥1.5-fold change) and of these 16 were selected for MRM confirmation. The protein expression changes observed in the label-free LC-MS/MS and MRM analysis were found to be highly correlated (R2 = 0.85).

Conclusions and clinical relevance

The establishment of a clinical trial to support the acquisition of samples and development of a pipeline for MS-based biomarker discovery and validation should contribute to the identification of a serum protein signature to predict or monitor the outcome of treatment of patients with PCa.