Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Acid phosphatase was the first tumor marker to be measured in blood. Although it is used as a marker of prostatic carcinoma, serum levels are also elevated in many diseases of prostate, bone, and hematologic tissue. While serum acid phosphatase concentration is elevated in patients with prostatic carcinoma or infarction, it may also be increased merely with benign hypertrophy and after prostate massage. Recent studies demonstrate that levels are not significantly increased after routine rectal examination. Although of limited use as a screening test, the assay may be useful in staging, prognostication during hormonal therapy, and in making clinical decisions. Rectal examination remains the best screening test for carcinoma of the prostate.