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Korean J Pathol. 2012 Oct;46(5):423-8. doi: 10.4132/KoreanJPathol.2012.46.5.423. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

ERG immunohistochemistry and clinicopathologic characteristics in Korean prostate adenocarcinoma patients.

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Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Transmembrane protease serine 2-ETS related gene (TMPRSS2-ERG) gene fusion, the most common genetic alternation in prostate cancer, is associated with protein expression of the oncogene ERG. Recently, an immunohistochemical staining method using an anti-ERG antibody was shown to have a strong correlation with altered ERG protein expression.


We analyzed a total of 303 radical prostatectomy specimens (obtained from Korean prostate cancer cases) using a constructed tissue microarray and ERG immunohistochemical staining. Thereafter, we evaluated the association between ERG expression and clinicopathological factors.


The ERG-positive rate was 24.4% (74/303) and significantly higher ERG expression was observed in the subgroup with a lower Gleason score (p=0.004). Analysis of the histologic pattern of prostate adenocarcinomas revealed that tumors with discrete glandular units (Gleason pattern 3) displayed higher frequency of ERG expression (p=0.016). The ERG-positive rate was lower than that found (approximately 50%) in studies involving western populations. Other factors including age, tumor volume, initial protein-specific antigen level, a pathological stage and margin status were not significantly related with the ERG expression.


ERG immunohistochemical staining is significantly higher in tumors with well-formed glands and is associated with a lower Gleason score.


ERG; Immunohistochemistry; Prostate neoplasms

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