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Volume 11, Issue 1 (January 2009) 11, 109–118; 10.1038/aja.2008.22

Utility of tissue microarrays for profiling prognostic biomarkers in clinically localized prostate cancer: the expression of BCL-2, E-cadherin, Ki-67 and p53 as predictors of biochemical failure after radical prostatectomy with nested control for cli

Joseph Nariculam1, Alex Freeman2, Simon Bott1, Phillipa Munson3, Noriko Cable4, Nicola Brookman-Amissah1, Magali Williamson1, Roger S. Kirby5, John Masters1 and Mark Feneley1

1 Institute of Urology, Prostate Cancer Research Centre, London W1W 7EJ, UK
2 Histopathology, University College London, London W1W 7ET, UK
3 Diagnostics, University College London, London W1W 7ET, UK
4 Statistics, University College London, London W1W 7ET, UK
5 Prostate Cancer Research Centre, London W1G 8GT, UK

Correspondence: Dr Joseph Nariculam, Institute of Urology, Prostate Cancer Research Center, 3rd Floor, Charles Bell House, 67 Riding House Street London, London W1W 7EJ, UK. Fax: + 44-20-7679-9296 E-mail: jnariculam@yahoo.co.uk

Received 28 September 2008; Accepted 2 October 2008; Published online 1 December 2008


A cure cannot be assured for all men with clinically localized prostate cancer undergoing radical treatment. Molecular markers would be invaluable if they could improve the prediction of occult metastatic disease. This study was carried out to investigate the expression of BCL-2, Ki-67, p53 and E-cadherin in radical prostatectomy specimens. We sought to assess their ability to predict early biochemical relapse in a specific therapeutic setting. Eighty-two patients comprising 41 case pairs were matched for pathological stage, Gleason grade and preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) concentration. One patient in each pair had biochemical recurrence (defined as PSA 0.2 ng mL-1 within 2 years of surgery) and the other remained biochemically free of disease (defined as undetectable PSA at least 3 years after surgery). Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to assess marker expression on four replicate tissue microarrays constructed with benign and malignant tissue from each radical prostatectomy specimen. Ki-67, p53 and BCL-2, but not E-cadherin, were significantly upregulated in prostate adenocarcinoma compared with benign prostate tissue (P < 0.01). However, no significant differences in expression of any of the markers were observed when comparing patients who developed early biochemical relapse with patients who had no biochemical recurrence. This study showed that expression of p53, BCL-2 and Ki-67 was upregulated in clinically localized prostate cancer compared with benign prostate tissue, with no alteration in E-cadherin expression. Biomarker upregulation had no prognostic value for biochemical recurrence after radical prostatectomy, even after considering pathological stage, whole tumour Gleason grade and preoperative serum PSA level.

Keywords: immunohistochemistry, prostate cancer, prostatectomy

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