In an attempt to identify an indicator(s) specifically associated with prostatic cancer prostatic fluid was collected by rectal massage from patients with prostatic cancer, prostatitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia and from those without recognized prostatic lesions in order to measure various immunoproteins. The proteins examined were IgG, IgA, IgM, complements C3 and C4, and transferrin. Prostatic fluid samples were subjected first to immunoelectrophoresis. Distinct differences in C3, C4 and transferrin concentrations were noted between patients with prostatic cancer and other patients. These proteins were stained heavily in the electrophoresis gels of fluid from cancer patients but were either missing or lightly stained in all other groups. These qualitative determinations were replaced subsequently by a quantitative measurement using the radial immunodiffusion technique. Results of the latter study confirmed the aforementioned observations and indicated that the levels of C3, C4 and transferrin in the prostatic fluid of cancer patients were elevated significantly when compared to all other patient groups. These observations indicate that the measurement of complements C3 and C4, and transferrin in the prostatic fluid may assist in the identification of patients with a high risk of prostatic cancer.
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