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Cancer Discov. 2011 Nov;1(6):487-95. doi: 10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0130.

Molecular characterization of neuroendocrine prostate cancer and identification of new drug targets.

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1
Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York 10065, USA.

Abstract

Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is an aggressive subtype of prostate cancer that most commonly evolves from preexisting prostate adenocarcinoma (PCA). Using Next Generation RNA-sequencing and oligonucleotide arrays, we profiled 7 NEPC, 30 PCA, and 5 benign prostate tissue (BEN), and validated findings on tumors from a large cohort of patients (37 NEPC, 169 PCA, 22 BEN) using IHC and FISH. We discovered significant overexpression and gene amplification of AURKA and MYCN in 40% of NEPC and 5% of PCA, respectively, and evidence that that they cooperate to induce a neuroendocrine phenotype in prostate cells. There was dramatic and enhanced sensitivity of NEPC (and MYCN overexpressing PCA) to Aurora kinase inhibitor therapy both in vitro and in vivo, with complete suppression of neuroendocrine marker expression following treatment. We propose that alterations in Aurora kinase A and N-myc are involved in the development of NEPC, and future clinical trials will help determine from the efficacy of Aurora kinase inhibitor therapy.

SIGNIFICANCE:

We report on the largest in-depth molecular analysis of NEPC and provide new insight into molecular events involved in the progression of prostate cancer.

KEYWORDS:

aurora kinase A; drug targets; n-myc; neuroendocrine prostate cancer

PMID:
22389870
PMCID:
PMC3290518
DOI:
10.1158/2159-8290.CD-11-0130
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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