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NMR Biomed. 2011 Jul;24(6):691-9. doi: 10.1002/nbm.1738.

Correlation of phospholipid metabolites with prostate cancer pathologic grade, proliferative status and surgical stage - impact of tissue environment.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


This study investigates the relationship between phospholipid metabolite concentrations, Gleason score, rate of cellular proliferation and surgical stage in malignant prostatectomy samples by performing one- and two-dimensional, high-resolution magic angle spinning, total correlation spectroscopy, pathology and Ki-67 staining on the same surgical samples. At radical prostatectomy, surgical samples were obtained from 49 patients [41 with localized TNM stage T1 and T2, and eight with local cancer spread (TNM stage T3)]. Thirteen of the tissue samples were high-grade prostate cancer [Gleason score: 4 + 3 (n = 7); 4 + 4 (n = 6)], 22 low-grade prostate cancer [Gleason score: 3 + 3 (n = 17); 3 + 4 (n = 5)] and 14 benign prostate tissues. This study demonstrates that high-grade prostate cancer shows significantly higher Ki-67 staining and concentrations of phosphocholine (PC) and glycerophosphocholine (GPC) than does low-grade prostate cancer (2.4 ± 2.8% versus 7.6 ± 3.5%, p < 0.005, and 0.671 ± 0.461 versus 1.87 ± 2.15 mmolal, p < 0.005, respectively). In patients with local cancer spread, increases in [PC + GPC + PE + GPE] (PE, phosphoethanolamine; GPE, glycerophosphoethanolamine] and Ki-67 index approached significance (4.2 ± 2.5 versus 2.7 ± 2.4 mmolal, p = 0.07, and 5.3 ± 3.8% versus 2.9 ± 3.8%, p = 0.07, respectively). PC and Ki-67 were significantly lower and GPC higher in prostate tissues when compared with cell cultures, presumably because of a lack of important stromal-epithelial interactions in cell cultures. The findings of this study will need to be validated in a larger cohort of surgical patients with clinical outcome data, but support the role of in vivo (1)H MRSI in discriminating between low- and high-grade prostate cancer based on the magnitude of elevation of the in vivo total choline resonance.

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