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Prostate. 2008 Jun 1;68(8):830-8. doi: 10.1002/pros.20747.

Elevated levels of HER-2/neu and androgen receptor in clinically localized prostate cancer identifies metastatic potential.

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Research Centre for Reproductive Health, Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.



In this study, we investigated the expression of HER-2/neu and AR in clinically organ-confined prostate cancer to determine whether alterations in these signaling pathways contribute to the development of metastatic disease.


HER-2/neu and AR immunoreactivity were evaluated in archived prostatic tissues obtained from 53 men with clinically organ-confined disease who underwent radical prostatectomy. Associations between AR and HER-2/neu immunostaining and disease outcome were determined.


Seventy percent (37/53) of tumors exhibited high levels of HER-2/neu immunostaining and 68% (36/53) of tumors had elevated AR levels. Patients with high levels of both HER-2/neu and AR had the highest rate of PSA failure (56%, 15/27) compared with no PSA failures amongst seven patients with low levels of both HER-2/neu and AR (log rank statistic 7.69, P = 0.021). Concurrent high levels of HER-2/neu and AR expression were significantly associated with high pathological stage (P = 0.027) and development of metastatic disease (P = 0.022).


These findings support the notion that both the HER-2/neu and AR signaling pathways may contribute to development of metastatic disease. The subset of prostate tumors with increased HER-2/neu and AR levels may benefit from treatment strategies that target both signaling pathways.

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