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Prostate Cancer Assay (CaP)


The current method of screening for prostate cancer  is to determine the level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in serum, followed by confirmatory biopsies if high levels are detected. The PSA test is highly sensitive, but unfortunately not very specific. That is, there are conditions unrelated to cancer that can also elevate PSA levels in healthy subjects and results in large numbers of false positives. This creates an unnecessary burden on the health care system and, occasionally, hospitalization due to complications from the biopsies themselves.

PharmaSeq and the Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Hospital are collaborating to develop a multiplex prostate cancer test that they believe will have high enough sensitivity and specificity to be recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force as a prostate cancer screening assay for asymptomatic men. The PharmaSeq CaP Assay itself uses probes for several proprietary protein biomarkers specific to prostate cancer – these biomarkers provide the specificity that is lacking in a standard PSA test.