Jack A Schalken, PhD, and E. David Crawford, MD, discuss recent advances in non invasive liquid biopsies for prostate cancer, and the impact of SelectMDx.

Keywords: liquid biopsies, SelectMDx, prostate cancer

Molecular Diagnostic of Prostate Cancer Based on Non Invasive Liquid Biopsies


Jack A. Schalken, PhD, provides an update on urinary-based biomarkers for prostate cancer.

He explains the timeline of research and development for these biomarkers. He traces the significant advances from 2002, when researchers first proved that prostate cancer cells shed through the urine, to present day and the development comprehensive risk calculators, especially SelectMDx.

The first in class urine test for prostate cancer, Progensa PCA3 (PCA3), came on the market in 2007. However, PCA3 had limitations. It missed many instances of castration resistant and metastatic prostate cancer. It had little prognostic value.

So, the urological community sought to identify true progression markers. In 2015, Dr. Schalken and a group of researchers developed the first gene panel for the early diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Specifically, they found that HOXC6-DLXI tests outperformed PCA3 tests in clinical studies. As an illustration, HOXC6-DLXI could accurately detect high grade cancers, even in men with low sPSA levels.

After identifying this accurate urinary biomarker, researchers went on to develop a more comprehensive method for risk stratification called Select MDx. This new method factors in clinical parameters such as family history, PSA, and prostate volume. Now, the urological community is seeking to combine SelectMDx with other diagnostic tools, such as mpMRI.

Following Dr. Schalken’s overview, he and Dr. Crawford engage in a question-and-answer session to elaborate on the subject.


Jack A. Schalken, PhD, is a Professor of Experimental Urology and Director of Urological Research at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He trained as a biochemist at Radboud University, where he also obtained his PhD. He did his post-doctoral work with Dr. John T. Isaacs at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Schalken is an author on more than 340 peer-reviewed publications and more than 80 book chapters. He is also the author of 10 books/special issue journals. Dr Schalken was Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of NovioGendix BV, a biomarker company acquired by MDxHealth SA.