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Int J Cancer. 2002 Mar 1;98(1):19-22.

Overexpression of fatty acid synthase is an early and common event in the development of prostate cancer.

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Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology, Department of Developmental Biology, Gasthuisberg, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


The expression of fatty acid synthase (FAS), a key lipogenic enzyme and potential target for antineoplastic therapy, was analyzed in 87 frozen needle biopsies of prostate cancer using a highly sensitive immunohistochemical detection technique (Envision). In comparison to normal or benign, hyperplastic glandular structures, which were all negative for FAS staining, immunohistochemical signal was evident in 24/25 low grade prostatic epithelial neoplasia (PIN) lesions, in 26/26 high grade PIN lesions and in 82/87 invasive carcinomas. Staining intensity tended to increase from low grade to high grade PIN to invasive carcinoma. Cancers with a high FAS expression had an overall high proliferative index. No correlation was found between FAS expression and lipid accumulation. These findings indicate that increased FAS expression is one of the earliest and most common events in the development of prostate cancer, suggesting that FAS may be used as a general prostate cancer marker and that antineoplastic therapy based on FAS inhibition may be an option for chemoprevention or curative treatment for nearly all prostate cancers.

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