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Hum Pathol. 2006 Sep;37(9):1137-44. Epub 2006 Jun 21.

HER2 expression and gene amplification in pT2a Gleason score 6 prostate cancer incidentally detected in cystoprostatectomies: comparison with clinically detected androgen-dependent and androgen-independent cancer.

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1
Section of Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology, Polytechnic University of the Marche Region, School of Medicine, I-60020 Torrette, Ancona, Italy. r.montironi@univpm.it

Abstract

Previous studies have demonstrated HER2 protein overexpression and/or gene amplification in a subset of patients with clinically significant prostate cancer (PCa), especially in the androgen-independent phase of the disease. There are no studies on incidentally detected PCa. The aim of the study was to analyze HER2 expression and gene amplification in PCa incidentally detected in cystoprostatectomies. High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) was also investigated. Comparison was made with clinically detected PCa, both untreated and hormonally treated, and with androgen-independent PCa. Nineteen cystoprostatectomy (CyP) and 44 radical prostatectomy specimens (25 untreated and 19 hormonally treated) with pT2a Gleason score 6 cancer and HGPIN were used in this study. It also included 9 specimens of transurethral resection of the prostate with hormone-independent cancer and 8 cases of normal prostate tissue from CyP specimens without PCa and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. HER2 protein and Ki-67 were investigated immunohistochemically. Patients with immunohistochemical scores of 2+ and 3+ were considered to have HER2 overexpression (HercepTest method). Dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis was performed using the CEP-17/HER dual probe combination. High-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia showed HER2 overexpression in 26% of the CyP cases and in 40% and 83% of the untreated and treated cases, respectively. Prostate cancer showed HER2 overexpression in 16% of cases in the CyP group and in 36% and 47.5% in the untreated and treated groups, respectively. HER2 overexpression was present in 78% of androgen-independent cancers. HER2 gene amplification was seen in a small proportion of nuclei and some of the cases. In HGPIN, it ranged from 1.1% (in 5 cases) in the CyP group to 2.1% (in 10 cases) and 1.9% (in 6 cases) in the untreated and treated groups, respectively. In PCa, the proportion of nuclei with gene amplification was 0.7% (in 3 cases) in the CyP group, 2.6% (in 10 cases) and 2.5% (in 12 cases) in the untreated and treated groups, respectively, and 9% (in 6 cases) in the androgen-independent PCa. Ki-67 expression in HGPIN and PCa in CyP specimens was lower than in the radical prostatectomies and cases of transurethral resection of the prostate. Our findings in the current HER2-related study indicate that incidentally detected cancer has features of less aggressiveness than clinically detected cancer. This may contribute to a better understanding of the results obtained in screening programs where insignificant cancers are detected along with clinically significant cancers.

PMID:
16938518
DOI:
10.1016/j.humpath.2006.04.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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