Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Medical Laboratory Science

First Advisor

Margot Hall

Advisor Department

Medical Laboratory Science


Cancer is a hyperplastic cellular malignancy that affected 1,436,000 people (newly diagnosed cases) in the United States last year. The top three most frequent forms of cancer were lung, prostate, and breast. Oncogenesis is associated with both genetic predisposition and environmental onslaught, with a mixture of the two being required for the malignancy to progress. Tumor markers, circulating serum factors, are used in the diagnosis of cancer. Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent forms of this malignancy, affecting 230,110 men in 2004 alone. Diagnosis of prostate cancer is currently performed using results of an assay for prostate specific antigen (PSA). However, the theory has been advanced that either prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP) or testosterone may be a more accurate tumor marker than PSA. This study examines the efficacy of all three of these tests and specifically compares a PAP assay to the current standard test for PSA. A Diagnostics Automation, Inc. enzyme immunosorbent assay was used to measure prostatic acid phosphatase in 102 healthy adult males and 449 adult male patients. Predictive values were determined for PAP and compared with those of the PSA assay performed on the same samples. The results were as follows: diagnostic percent sensitivity was (20.73, PAP); (0.00, Testosterone); (30.12, PSA), the diagnostic percent specificity was: (80.38, PAP); (98.80, Testosterone); (91.29, PSA), and the diagnostic percent efficiency was: (71.51, PAP); (82.40, Testosterone); (81.73, PSA). From these data, it was concluded that the test for prostate specific antigen is the most accurate and efficient screen for prostate cancer. Finally, predictive values were determined for all three markers evaluated together.


Honors College Award: Top Thesis

Included in

Neoplasms Commons