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Summary— Analytical flow cytometry was used to study circulating prostate specific antigen (PSA)‐positive cells in 40 consecutive patients with newly diagnosed, untreated prostate cancer; 25 patients (63%) had metastatic disease confirmed by a positive bone scan. Cell suspensions were prepared for each patient from both the primary tumour and peripheral blood samples. The cells were stained with a monoclonal antibody against PSA, and analysed by flow cytometry; PSA‐positive cells were sorted according to their immunofluorescence and light scatter properties. The cellular deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content of each specimen was also analysed to establish ploidy status. PSA‐positive cells were detected in the peripheral blood of 33 patients (83%). The presence of these cells in the circulation showed a higher degree of sensitivity and specificity in predicting positive bone scans than did serum PSA levels. Circulating PSA‐positive cells may represent either a subpopulation of tumour cells with distinct metastatic properties or, alternatively, host immunocytes which take up PSA in an active or passive manner. © 1992 British Journal of Urology

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Urology

Publication Date





392 - 396