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Int J Urol. 2007 Jul;14(7):635-43.

Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemical studies for detection of prostate stem cell antigen expression in prostate cancer: potential value in molecular staging of prostate cancer.

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Urologic Oncology Clinic, Institute and Hospital, National Cancer Center, 809 Madu-Dong, Ilnsan-Gu, Goyang, Gyonggi 410-769 Korea.



To determine whether detection of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) expression has potential for molecular staging in prostate cancer (PCa), we examined the relationship between established prognostic factors, biochemical recurrence (BCR) and PSCA expression.


This study was comprised of 66 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for the treatment of PCa. We employed reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect PSCA mRNA-bearing cells in peripheral blood, and used immunohistochemical (IHC) techniques to identify PSCA protein expression in microarrayed tissue.


PSCA-mRNA was detected in the peripheral blood of nine (13.6%) patients by RT-PCR. Whereas 3.2% of patients with low-grade disease were PSCA positive, 22.9% of patients with high-grade disease were PSCA positive (P = 0.030). There was also a significant relationship of RT-PCR PSCA positivity to whether or not the tumor was confined to the prostate. Whereas only 6.8% of patients with prostate-confined disease were RT-PCR PSCA positive, 27.3% of extraprostatic diseases were RT-PCR PSCA positive (P = 0.022). IHC studies of tumor tissue microarrays demonstrated that PSCA expression intensity was related to both extraprostatic extension (P = 0.014) and positive surgical margin (P = 0.053). Whereas 23.8% of prostate-confined diseases were high intensity, 54.5% of extraprostatic diseases were high intensity. BCR developed in seven patients (10.6%) during the follow-up period (median, 16.2 months; range, 9-25 months). Prognostic factors increasing the risk of BCR included: seminal vesicle invasion (P = 0.004), extraprostatic disease (P = 0.019), lymphovascular emboli (P = 0.036) and RT-PCR PSCA positivity (P = 0.004) in univariate analysis.


We were able to detect PSCA mRNA-bearing cells in peripheral blood by RT-PCR, and also identify PSCA protein expression in tumors by IHC analysis of tissue microarrays. RT-PCR PSCA positivity in peripheral blood may be a potential modality for molecular staging of PCa.

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