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Cancer Res. 2010 Apr 15;70(8):3136-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-4100. Epub 2010 Apr 13.

Immunohistochemical expression of BRCA1 and lethal prostate cancer.

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Department of Pathology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


BRCA1 functions as a tumor suppressor; recent work suggests that BRCA1 may also induce cell cycle arrest to allow for DNA repair. We hypothesized that BRCA1 expression in prostate tumor tissue may be associated with prostate cancer progression through regulation of the cell cycle. We used immunohistochemistry to evaluate BRCA1 protein expression in archival tumor samples from 393 prostate cancer cases in the Physicians' Health Study. The men were followed prospectively from diagnosis to development of metastases and mortality. Fifteen percent of tumors stained positive for BRCA1. BRCA1-positive tumors had substantially increased tumor proliferation index compared with negative tumors (47.0 Ki67-positive nuclei versus 10.3, P = 0.0016) and were more likely to develop lethal cancer compared with BRCA1-negative tumors (hazard ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.4-8.7). These findings strengthen the hypothesis that BRCA1 plays a role in cell cycle control and show that BRCA1 is a marker of clinical prostate cancer prognosis. Cancer Res; 70(8); 3136-9.

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