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Urology. 1997 Mar;49(3A Suppl):95-101.

Evaluating neoadjuvant therapy effectiveness on systemic disease: use of a prostatic-specific membrane reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.

Erratum in

  • Urology 1998 Feb;51(2):352. Perroti M [corrected to Perrotti M].



An on-going study at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center assessed the effectiveness of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) prior to surgical removal of the prostate. In this report, we evaluate the effectiveness of ADT on systemic disease by monitoring the presence or absence of circulating prostatic epithelial cells using a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay for prostatic-specific membrane antigen (PSM).


PSM RT-PCR was performed on a total of 38 prostate cancer patients. There were 12 pT2 patients in the ADT group and 10 patients in the control pT2 group and 5 pT3 patients in the ADT group and 11 pT3 patients in the control group.


For pT2 patients, 2 of the 12 patients (17%) were positive for circulating prostatic cells during androgen deprivation therapy but before radical retroprostatectomy (RRP). Within a 6-month period after RRP, 3 of 12 patients (25%) were positive. For the period between the 7th and 12th month after RRP, 6 of 12 patients (50%) were positive. For the period 12-36 months after RRP, 2 of the 12 patients (17%) remained positive for circulating prostatic cells. In contrast, the pT2 control group had higher positive rates in comparable periods: 4 of 10 patients (40%) were positive prior to surgery; 6 of 10 patients (60%) were positive during the 6 months following surgery. For the period between the 7th and 12th month following surgery, 4 of 7 patients (57%) were positive for PSM. Finally, 3 of 6 patients (50%) were positive for the period longer than 12 months. Regarding patients who have extraprostatic disease (stage pT3), the ADT group had a lower rate of circulating PSM positive cells. Before RRP and during androgen deprivation therapy, 1 out of 5 patients (20%) in the ADT group were positive as compared to 4 out of 11 patients for the control group. Within a 6-month period after RRP, the ADT group had 4 out of 9 (44%) patients positive for PSM as compared to 9 of 11 (82%) for the control group. For the period between the 7th and 12th months postsurgery, 1 of 5 patients (20%) of the ADT group were positive as compared to 4 of 7 (57%) of the control patients.


These results indicate that patients with pT2 and pT3 lesions who receive neoadjuvant ADT are less likely to have circulating tumor cells detected compared to a control group both prior to and after surgery. In addition, irrespective of ADT or control group, there were increases in the detection of circulating tumor cells in the period after RRP, and this rise gradually decreased, suggesting that surgical manipulation may cause hematogenous dissemination of tumor cells and that ADT reduces such dissemination of tumor cells. Overall, these results indicate that the use of neoadjuvant ADT decreases the number of circulating prostatic cells. These data represent the initial results of an on-going study. As additional patients are added to the studies, attempts to correlate PSM positivity and serum PSA values postoperatively, recurrence, and margin positivity will be made.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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