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Clin Cancer Res. 2001 Sep;7(9):2712-8.

Minichromosome maintenance protein 2 expression in prostate: characterization and association with outcome after therapy for cancer.

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Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0506, USA.


The minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins are highly conserved proteins essential for initiating and regulating eukaryotic DNA replication. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential use of MCM proteins as markers of proliferation. We characterized the pattern of Mcm 2 staining in benign and malignant prostate tissues and examined the role of Mcm 2 expression in disease-free survival after surgery in men with localized prostate cancer. Tumors from 92 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer (median follow-up of 54 months) were examined for Mcm 2 expression by immunohistochemistry using a monoclonal antibody. Prostate tissue from five men without histopathological evidence of prostate cancer was also stained for Mcm 2. Mcm 2 expression was quantified by calculating a labeling index, and patients were grouped according to degree of staining. An analysis of the association between Mcm 2 expression with traditional clinicopathological characteristics of prostate cancer was carried out. A Cox proportional hazards analysis was performed to determine whether Mcm 2 staining was a significant independent predictor of disease-free survival. Mcm 2 expression is low (<2%) and limited to the basal cell layer in nonmalignant prostate glands. Mcm 2 expression is consistently increased in malignant glands and is significantly associated with disease-free survival in univariate (P = 0.002) and multivariate (P = 0.01) analyses. Patients with high Mcm 2 expression exhibited shorter disease-free survival. Mcm 2 expression was not associated with any traditional clinical or pathological factors and therefore is an independent predictor of survival in these patients with prostate cancer. These data support evidence that Mcm 2 may serve as a novel proliferation marker in the prostate. Mcm 2 expression is an independent predictor of disease-free survival after definitive local therapy and has potential as a molecular marker for clinical outcome in prostate cancer.

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