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Title: Identification and characterization of nodal metastases in prostate cancer patients at high risk for lymph node involvement
Authors: Isebaert, Sofie ×
Haustermans, Karin
Van den Bergh, Laura
Joniau, Steven
Dirix, Piet
Oyen, Raymond
Deroose, Christophe
Van Poppel, Hendrik
Lerut, Evelyne #
Issue Date: Oct-2013
Publisher: Acta Oncologica
Series Title: Acta Oncologica vol:52 issue:7 pages:1336-44
Abstract: Aim. To investigate whether blood-based markers could be used to identify prostate cancer (PCa) patients harboring lymph node (LN) metastases. In addition, E-cadherin expression was studied within the concept of epithelial mesenchymal plasticity. Material and methods. Seventy-five patients with clinically localized PCa who underwent a superextended lymphadenectomy followed by radical prostatectomy (RP) were included in this study. Preoperative plasma/serum levels of endoglin, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), osteopontin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and E-cadherin were measured using commercially available enzyme immunoassays in 47/75 patients and correlated with clinicopathological parameters. E-cadherin expression in the diagnostic biopsies (n = 63), RP specimens (n = 75) and LN metastases (n = 106) was examined by immunohistochemical analysis. Results. Occult LN metastases were present in almost half of the patients (37/75), with a total of 106 affected LN. Preoperative levels of endoglin, TGF-β1, osteopontin, VEGF, VCAM-1 nor E-cadherin were significantly associated with LN status. Only a positive correlation between plasma endoglin and serum prostate-specific antigen was found (Spearman's r = 0.44; p = 0.002). The majority of biopsies (91.9%) and RP specimens (79.7%) showed strong E-cadherin expression, while in the LN this was found to be much weaker (28.9%). While the staining pattern in the isolated tumor cells (ITC) and micrometastases was mainly homogenous, the macrometastases showed a much more heterogeneous pattern (χ², p < 0.0001). Conclusion. In this study, none of the blood-based markers tested could be used for nodal staging in PCa, nor could E-cadherin expression in the tissue. However, the difference in E-cadherin expression pattern between the ITC/micrometastases and the macrometastases may point to another biological behavior. The specific staining pattern seen in the macrometastases could indicate an ongoing mesenchymal epithelial transition, presumed to be a mechanism for metastatic colonization. As the latter is the rate-limiting step in the metastatic process, evaluation of the E-cadherin expression pattern could have potential therapeutic implications.
ISSN: 0284-186X
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Organ Systems (+)
Nuclear Medicine & Molecular Imaging
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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