INTRODUCTION: The wide spectrum of biological behavior displayed by prostate cancer (PCa) warrants investigation of potential PCa-specific biomarkers that could identify more aggressive tumor types and therefore provide prognostic value. Upregulation of expression of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), Survivin, DD3 and PCGEM1 mRNAs in PCa lesions has recently been described. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical value of detection of over-expression of these biomarkers in the diagnosis and prognosis of PCa.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Archival formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) prostatectomy tissue from 26 patients with PCa (Gleason score 3-9, mean 7) and 14 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) were analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for semiquantitative transcript levels of hTERT, Survivin, DD3 and PCGEM1. In addition, 25 matched normal (MN) tissue samples were examined. The expression of biomarker mRNA relative to b2-microglobulin mRNA was determined using AlphaImager 2200 data analysis software.
RESULTS: The biomarkers had sensitivities ranging from 91% to 100%. Clinical specificities evaluated with the BPH tissue were the following: hTERT mRNA (93%), DD3 mRNA (57%), Survivin (29%) and PCGEM1 (14%). Biomarker expressions were up to 13.5-fold higher in PCa tissue as compared to MN tissue. None of the tumor biomarkers showed a positive correlation with pathological stage and Gleason score.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate potential utility of the hTERT mRNA and DD3 mRNA as diagnostic but not prognostic biomarkers for PCa.