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Keywords:

  • human glandular kallikrein 2;
  • prostate cancer;
  • prostate specific antigen

Background:  Human glandular kallikrein (hK2) has been shown to add important information regarding the early detection and staging of prostate cancer. Preliminary analysis pointed out that hK2 may discriminate between pT2 and pT3 tumors, and that hK2 may predict Gleason grade 4/5 cancer volume, better than prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or percent free PSA (% fPSA). We investigated the role of hK2 serum values for predicting pathological stage, grade and Gleason score.

Methods:  Prostate-specific antigen, free PSA and hK2 were measured on 222 untreated prostate cancer patients who had received radical prostatectomy at the Charité Hospital, Berlin, Germany. Pathological work up revealed pT2-cancer in 111 patients and pT3-cancer in 111 patients. Grade 2 was found in 118 patients whereas grade 3 tumors were found in 104 patients.

Results:  For pT2 and pT3 patients, the % fPSA (P = 0.006), the ratios hK2/fPSA (P = 0.08) and hK2 × tPSA/fPSA (P = 0.002) were all significant different whereas hK2 (P = 0.143) and PSA (P = 0.1) did not differ. Between grade 2 and grade 3 tumors, the hK2 alone (P = 0.27), the % fPSA (P = 0.13), the ratios hK2/fPSA (P = 0.94) and hK2 × tPSA/fPSA (P = 0.12) did not separate, whereas PSA (P = 0.039) showed a difference. The same relationships were found between the two groups in Gleason score <7 and ≥7. Neither the hK2 ratio, nor % fPSA was different.

Conclusion:  Human glandular kallikrein was not different between pT2 and pT3, nor between G2 versus G3 or Gleason scores <7 and ≥7 prostate cancer. Together with % fPSA, hK2 may only help to distinguish preoperatively between pT2 and pT3 prostate cancer but cannot add further information.