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Clin Cancer Res. 2005 Apr 1;11(7):2591-6.

Prostate stem cell antigen is overexpressed in prostate cancer metastases.

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  • 1Department of Urology, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California at Los Angeles, CA 90095-1738, USA.



Prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) is expressed by a majority of prostate cancers and is a promising therapeutic target. PSCA protein and mRNA expression was examined in prostate cancer bone, lymph node, and visceral metastases to assess the potential of PSCA as an immunotherapeutic target in advanced prostate cancer.


Immunohistochemical analysis of PSCA protein expression and quantitative mRNA expression analysis of PSCA was done on clinical specimens of prostate cancer bone, lymph node, and visceral metastases. PSCA protein and mRNA expression levels were quantified and compared between available matched pairs of bone and lymph node or visceral metastases.


Bone metastases stained with higher intensity of PSCA compared with lymph node or liver metastases in seven of eight (87.5%) matched pairs (P = 0.035). PSCA mRNA expression was equal or greater than that of LAPC-9, a PSCA expressing xenograft, in 12 of 24 (50%) cases of prostate cancer metastases and was significantly correlated with PSCA protein expression (sigma = 0.84, P = 0.0019). Overall, PSCA protein expression was detected in 41 of 47 (87.2%), four of six (66.7%), and two of three (66.7%) cases of bone, lymph node, and liver metastases, respectively. Mean PSCA staining intensity was significantly higher in prostate cancer bone metastases compared with lymph node metastases (2.0 +/- 0.02 versus 0.83 +/- 0.31, P = 0.014).


Prostate cancer metastases express PSCA. However, greater PSCA staining intensity and level of PSCA mRNA expression was associated with bone metastases compared with lymph node metastases. This study suggests that PSCA is a promising tumor marker and potential therapeutic target for patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

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