Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) levels in the blood are currently the “go to” biomarker that leads to a prostate gland biopsy. However, elevated PSA levels are not cancer specific because healthy prostate tissue also generates PSA.
Biopsies themselves present diagnostic problems. It is way too common for biopsies to miss cancer in the gland, providing a man with a false negative result. False negative biopsies lead to multiple repeat biopsies and missed treatment opportunities.
A paper presented by Zhou et al. showed that men with a PSA level between 4 ng/ml and 10 ng/ml also have plasma levels of IL-35significantly elevated when they have prostate cancer and that higher plasma IL-35 levels are also positively associated with advanced stages of prostate cancer.
This study was small having only 180 men participating, so it needs to be replicated using a larger cohort, but the study does indicate that plasma IL-35 is a strong candidate to be a better predictive indicator of the presence of prostate cancer, both for gland confined and advanced prostate cancer.
Additional knowledge of IL-35 might be able to aid in decision-making among men deciding if they need a biopsy as well as those undergoing an initial prostate biopsy.
Joel T. Nowak, MA, MSW wrote this Post. Joel is the CEO/Executive Director of Cancer ABCs. He is a Cancer Thriver diagnosed with 5 primary cancers - Thyroid, Metastatic Prostate, Renal, Melanoma and a rare cancer, Appendiceal Cancer.