Sarcosine was postulated in 2009 as a biomarker for prostate cancer (PCa). Here, we assess plasma sarcosine as a biomarker that is complementary to prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
Plasma sarcosine was measured using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) in adults classified as noncancerous controls (with benign prostate hyperplasia [BPH], n = 36), with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN, n = 16), or with PCa (n = 27). Diagnostic accuracy was assessed using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis.
Plasma sarcosine levels were higher in the PCa (2.0 µM [1.3-3.3 µM], P <.01) and the PIN (1.9 µM [1.2-6.5 µM], P <.001) groups than in the BPH (0.9 µM [0.6-1.4 µM]) group. Plasma sarcosine had "good" and "very good" discriminative capability to detect PIN (area under the curve [AUC], 0.734) and PCa (AUC, 0.833) versus BPH, respectively. The use of PSA and sarcosine together improved the overall diagnostic accuracy to detect PIN and PCa versus BPH.
Plasma sarcosine measured by GC-MS had “good” and “very good” classification performance for distinguishing PIN and PCa, respectively, relative to noncancerous patients diagnosed with BPH.

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