Prostate cancer detection by GSTP1 methylation analysis of postbiopsy urine specimens

Mark L. Gonzalgo, Christian P. Pavlovich, Shing M. Lee, William G. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Purpose: We assess the feasibility of a urinary test for prostate cancer detection in a high-risk patient cohort based on methylation-specific PCR analysis of the π class glutathione S-transferase (GSTP1) gene promoter. Experimental Design: A total of 45 men underwent transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy of the prostate for suspected malignancy. Clean-catch voided urine specimens were prospectively collected from each patient immediately after biopsy. Genomic DNA was isolated from urine specimens and subjected to sodium bisulfite modification. Methylation of the GSTP1 promoter was examined in a blinded manner by methylation-specific PCR analysis and correlated with pathology results, and clinical information was obtained from the patient record. Results: Methylation of GSTP1 in the urine was detected in a total of 18 of 36 (50%) informative cases. A total of 7 of 18 (39%) patients with prostate adenocarcinoma identified on their initial biopsy had detectable urinary GSTP1 methylation (58% sensitivity among informative cases). Abnormal urinary GSTP1 methylation was also detected in 7 of 21 (33%) patients without evidence of cancer on biopsy and in 4 of 6 (67%) patients diagnosed with atypia or high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Conclusions: We have demonstrated the feasibility of a novel, noninvasive molecular approach for the detection of epigenetic changes associated with prostate cancer. A screening test based on GSTP1 methylation in the urine specimens of patients with suspected prostate malignancy may be a useful adjunct to serum screening tests and digital rectal examination findings for identification of men at increased risk of harboring cancer despite a negative biopsy. This molecular assay has potential application for stratification of patients into low- and high-risk groups for surveillance versus repeat biopsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2673-2677
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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