Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) was one of the first prostate cancer biomarkers successfully cloned.PSMA represents a viable biomarker and treatment target in prostate cancer. Research to delineate its precise role in prostate carcinogenesis and within the therapeutic armamentarium for this disease remains crucial. Here, we review the properties of PSMA in prostate cancer, paying particular attention to immunohistochemical evaluation, functional studies, and therapeutic implications of this molecule.
What is PSMA?
PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) is an oncofetal protein with multiple functions, including the regulation of cell growth, apoptosis, and tumor cell invasion. It is one of the first prostate cancer biomarkers successfully cloned, representing a viable biomarker and treatment target in prostate carcinogenesis and within the therapeutic armamentarium for prostate cancer.
PSMA as a Biomarker
The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is now one of the more studied prostate cancer biomarkers. PSMA is elevated in the serum of prostate carcinoma patients, with levels correlating with tumor aggressiveness and metastatic propensity.
PSMA as a Treatment Target
The study of PSMA is important because it is one of the first prostate cancer biomarkers successfully cloned. The research revealed that it is a viable biomarker and treatment target in prostate carcinogenesis and within the therapeutic armamentarium for prostate cancer.
Santa Fe Biotechnology, Inc., has developed a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) monoclonal antibody for use in determining the presence of prostate cancer cells. The company is also developing diagnostic kits to detect PSMA protein expression on tumor cells.
In the future, we hope to expand our understanding of PSMA’s role in prostate carcinogenesis by elucidating its precise molecular interactions with other cell surface molecules, including those that interact specifically with prostate tumor cells. We also hope to identify novel therapeutic targets for prostate cancer based on the analysis of PSMA’s mechanism of action, which would lead to more effective therapies for patients with localized as well as metastatic disease.