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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2011 Nov 1;81(3):e119-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.12.064. Epub 2011 May 17.

Prognostic significance of neuroendocrine differentiation in patients with Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer treated with primary radiotherapy.

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  • 1Oakland University William Beaumont Medical School, 3601 W. Thirteen Mile Rd. Royal Oak, MI 48073, USA.



To determine the prognostic significance of neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) in Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer treated with primary radiotherapy (RT).


Chromogranin A (CgA) staining was performed and overseen by a single pathologist on core biopsies from 176 patients from the William Beaumont prostate cancer database. A total of 143 had evaluable biopsy material. Staining was quantified as 0%, <1%, 1-10%, or >10% of tumor cells. Patients received external beam RT alone or together with high-dose-rate brachytherapy. Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier estimates determined if the presence/frequency of neuroendocrine cells correlated with clinical endpoints.


Median follow-up was 5.5 years. Forty patients (28%) had at least focal positive CgA staining (<1% n = 21, 1-10% n = 11, >10% n = 8). No significant differences existed between patients with or without staining in terms of age, pretreatment prostate-specific antigen, tumor stage, hormone therapy administration, % biopsy core involvement, mean Gleason score, or RT dose/modality. CgA staining concentration independently predicted for biochemical and clinical failure, distant metastases (DM), and cause-specific survival (CSS). For patients with <1% vs. >1% staining, 10-year DM rates were 13.4% vs. 55.3%, respectively (p = 0.001), and CSS was 91.7% vs. 58.9% (p < 0.001). As a continuous variable, increasing CgA staining concentration predicted for inferior rates of DM, CSS, biochemical control, and any clinical failure. No differences in outcomes were appreciated for patients with 0% vs. <1% NED.


For Gleason score 8-10 prostate cancer, >1% NED is associated with inferior clinical outcomes for patients treated with radiotherapy. This relates most directly to an increase in distant disease failure.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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