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Neuropeptide Y (NPY) and related peptides have been proposed as promising biomarkers for the diagnosis of prostate cancer by previous immunoassays and immunohistochemical studies. In this study, we evaluated the additional value of NPY and related peptides compared with prostate-specific antigen (PSA). We performed a comprehensive analysis of NPY, its precursors, and metabolite concentrations in both plasma and tissue samples from 181 patients using a highly specific liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method. Compared with PSA, NPY and related peptides (NPYs) were less accurate at diagnosing significant prostate cancer. Combinations of NPYs in a stepwise approach did not improve a model that would be beneficial for patients. NPY may be beneficial for patients presenting with a PSA concentration in the gray area between 4 and 9 ng/ml, but the strength of this conclusion is limited. Thus, the use of NPYs as standalone or in combination with other variables, such as PSA, prostate volume, or age, to improve the diagnosis is not supported by our study. Patient summary: This study evaluated neuropeptide Y (NPY) of the family of endogenous peptides as a new biomarker to diagnose prostate cancer. We found that NPY in a patient's blood was not more helpful at diagnosing prostate cancer than the standard prostate-specific antigen blood test. Further research is needed to explore the potential of NPY and related peptides in specific subgroups of patients.

Original publication




Journal article


European Urology Open Science

Publication Date





12 - 15