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Horm Cancer. 2013 Feb;4(1):12-23. doi: 10.1007/s12672-012-0124-8. Epub 2012 Sep 26.

IGFBP-3 nuclear localization predicts human prostate cancer recurrence.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1738, USA.


Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) is a pro-apoptotic, anti-metastasic, and anti-angiogenic protein. Low serum IGFBP-3 has been associated with risk of more aggressive prostate cancer (PCa). We investigated the impact of nuclear and cytoplasmic IGFBP-3 protein expression levels in PCa by examining their in situ expression across a wide spectrum of primary tumors by immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays. Immunohistochemistry was performed on PCa microarrays constructed from 226 hormone naïve patients who underwent radical prostatectomy. Both cytoplasmic and nuclear IGFBP-3 expressions were scored in a semi-quantitative fashion using an integrated measure of intensity and positivity. The distribution of IGFBP-3 protein expression was examined across the spectrum of epithelial tissues, and its association with standard clinicopathological covariates and tumor recurrence was examined. There was a broad range of IGFBP-3 staining across all histologies examined. Tumor had higher IGFBP-3 cytoplasmic and nuclear staining than benign histologies. For IGFBP-3 nuclear staining, PCa was significantly different than benign prostatic hyperplasia, normal prostate, and prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. As both a continuous and dichotomized variable, higher nuclear IGFBP-3 expression had statistically significant associations with PCa recurrence. The cytoplasmic staining had no significance in any patient subgroup. In patients with low-grade cancer, IGFBP-3 nuclear positivity was a better predictor of recurrence than baseline PSA, tumor margin status, TNM tumor stage, or presence of capsular invasion. High nuclear IGFBP-3 is amongst the strongest predictors of cancer recurrence in patients with low-grade prostate cancers and may therefore play an important role in risk stratification.

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