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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Tumor Markers. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA): Clinical Applications of Monitoring Treatment

Treatment of prostate cancer includes:
  • Radiation therapy
  • Hormonal treatment (anti-androgen therapy)
  • Radical prostatectomy
Using PSA to evaluate the effectiveness of therapy is widely employed, as a decrease in PSA level in response to treatment indicates a degree of success, as with less tumor mass comes a lower production of PSA.
A radical prostatectomy is the complete removal of the prostate. Since PSA is found ONLY in prostatic tissue, the successful and complete removal of the prostate should lead to the lack of detection of PSA in the blood. Any residual or detectable blood levels may be indicative of a metastasis of a tumor of prostatic tissue that is producing PSA, which has a poor prognosis.