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Virchows Arch. 2006 Mar;448(3):325-30. Epub 2005 Nov 29.

Alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR/P504S) protein expression in urothelial carcinoma of the upper urinary tract correlates with tumour progression.

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  • 1Institute of Pathology, Medical University Graz, Auenbruggerplatz 25, Graz, Austria. cord.langner@meduni-graz.at

Abstract

Alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (AMACR/P504S) is a useful biomarker of prostate cancer. We evaluated the expression of AMACR in upper urinary tract urothelial carcinomas with respect to associations with tumour stage, grade and metastasis-free survival. A total of 268 tumours were investigated immunohistochemically using a tissue microarray technique. AMACR expression was noted in 127 of 261 (48.7%) evaluated tumours and was associated with high tumour stage [58 of 139 (41.7%) pTa/pT1 vs. 69 of 122 (56.6%) pT2-pT4, P=0.019] and high tumour grade [44 of 137 (32.1%) low vs. 83 of 124 (66.9%) high grade, P<0.001]. In addition, AMACR expression was associated with the presence of tumour necrosis (P<0.001) and marked stromal desmoplasia (P=0.0026). This correlation indicates that increased AMACR expression might be related to hypoxia-induced changes in cancer cell metabolism, such as increased dependence on fatty acid oxidation for energy generation. Progressive disease was observed in 73 of 183 (39.9%) patients with solitary invasive carcinomas and was associated with AMACR expression (P=0.017). Multivariate analysis, however, proved only pT-stage >1 (P<0.001) and high tumour grade (P<0.001) to be independent predictors of patient outcome. In conclusion, AMACR expression correlated with advanced tumour stage and grade and may serve as an additional prognostic indicator in upper urinary tract urothelial cancer.

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