A prostatic-specific antigen is being used by a Florida group to differentiate between prostatic and nonprostatic tumors. To date, the test has been 100% accurate.
Mehrdad Nadji, MD, presented the results of his group's work at the recent meeting of the International Academy of Pathology in Chicago. He is an assistant professor of pathology and director of the cytopathology laboratory at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
He noted that although prostatic malignant neoplasms are responsible for only about 2% of disseminated cancers of unknown origin, it is often necessary to include this possibility in the differential diagnosis of metastatic adenocarcinomas in men, particularly those that involve bone marrow or lymph nodes.
Another reason the relatively simple assay will be useful, Nadji said, is because the histiogenic classification of tumors involving the prostate gland and adjacent tissues, bladder, or rectum is a common diagnostic problem for pathologists.