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Volume 22, Issue 2 (March 2020) 22, 200–207; 10.4103/aja.aja_45_19

Prevalence and clinical application of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion in Asian prostate cancer patients: a large-sample study in Chinese people and a systematic review

De-Pei Kong1, Rui Chen1, Chun-Lei Zhang1, Wei Zhang1, Guang-An Xiao1, Fu-Bo Wang1, Na Ta2, Xu Gao1, Ying-Hao Sun1

1 Department of Urology, Shanghai Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China
2 Department of Pathology, Shanghai Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, China

Correspondence: Dr. YH Sun (sunyhsmmu@126.com) or Dr. X Gao (gaoxu.changhai@foxmail.com)



Fusion between the transmembrane protease serine 2 and v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog (TMPRSS2-ERG fusion) is a common genetic alteration in prostate cancer among Western populations and has been suggested as playing a role in tumorigenesis and progression of prostate cancer. However, the prevalence of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion differs among different ethnic groups, and contradictory results have been reported in Asian patients. We aim to evaluate the prevalence and significance of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion as a molecular subtyping and prognosis indicator of prostate cancer in Asians. We identified the fusion status in 669 samples from prostate biopsy and radical prostatectomy by fluorescence in situ hybridization and/or immunohistochemistry in China. We examined the association of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion with clinicopathological characteristics and biochemical recurrence by Chi-square test and Kaplan–Meier analysis. Finally, a systematic review was performed to investigate the positive rate of the fusion in Asian prostate cancer patients. McNemar's test was employed to compare the positive rates of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion detected using different methods. The positive rates of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion were 16% in our samples and 27% in Asian patients. In our samples, 9.4% and 19.3% of cases were recognized as fusion positive by fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. No significant association between the fusion and clinical parameters was observed. TMPRSS2-ERG fusion is not a frequent genomic alteration among Asian prostate cancer patients and has limited significance in clinical practices in China. Besides ethnic difference, detection methods potentially influence the results showing a positive rate of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion.

Keywords: Asian; Chinese; prostate cancer; systematic review; TMPRSS2-ERG

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