Prostate cancer detection: a systematic review of urinary biosensors

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Current diagnostic methods for prostate cancer are invasive and lack specificity towards aggressive forms of the disease, which can lead to overtreatment. A new class of non-invasive alternatives is under development, in which urinary biomarkers are detected using biosensing devices to offer rapid and accurate prostate cancer diagnosis. These different approaches are systematically reviewed and their potential for translation to clinical practice is evaluated. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed in May 2021 using PubMed Medline database, Embase, and Web of Science. The objective was to review the structural designs and performance of biosensors tested on urine samples from patients with prostate cancer. Results: A total of 76 records were identified. After screening and eligibility, 14 articles were included and are discussed in this paper. The biosensors were discussed based on the target biomarkers and detection technologies used, as well as the results of the clinical studies. Most of the works reported good discrimination between patients with prostate cancer and controls. Conclusions: This review highlights the potential of urinary biosensors for non-invasive prostate cancer detection. However, clinical studies have so far only been conducted on small cohorts of patient, with large scale trials still needed to validate the proposed approaches. Overall, the consensus arising from the proof of concepts studies reviewed here, is that an adequate combination of biomarkers into multiplex biosensor platforms is required to achieve accurate diagnostic tests. Furthermore, whether such devices can discriminate between aggressive and indolent cancer has not yet been addressed, because it entails optimized biomarkers panels and long-term clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Diagnostic markers
  • Prostate cancer


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