PSMA expression: a potential ally for the pathologist in prostate cancer diagnosis

Prostate cancer (PCa) patients are risk-stratified on the basis of clinical stage and PSA level at diagnosis and the Gleason Score (GS) in prostate biopsy. However, these parameters are not completely accurate in discriminating between high- and low-risk disease, creating a need for a reliable marker to determine aggressiveness.

Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) appears to fulfill this need. We analyzed 79 prostate biopsies and 28 prostatectomies to assess whether PSMA expression detected by immunohistochemistry is related to GS. PSMA expression was correlated with GS in both sample types (biopsies, P < 0.0001 and prostatectomy samples, P = 0.007). We observed lower PSMA expression in Gleason pattern 3 than Gleason pattern 4, suggesting that this biomarker could be useful to distinguish between these entities (p < 0.0001). The best cut-off value of 45% immunopositivity was determined by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. In Gleason pattern 3 vs. Gleason pattern 4 and 5, PSMA sensitivity was 84.1% (95% CI 76.5%-91.7%) and specificity was 95.2% (95% CI 90.6%-99.8%), with an area under the curve of 93.1 (95% CI 88.8-97.4). Our results suggest that PSMA represents a potential ally for the pathologist in the diagnostic work-up of PCa to overcome long-standing morphological classification limits.

Scientific reports. 2018 Mar 09*** epublish ***

Sara Bravaccini, Maurizio Puccetti, Martine Bocchini, Sara Ravaioli, Monica Celli, Emanuela Scarpi, Ugo De Giorgi, Maria Maddalena Tumedei, Giandomenico Raulli, Loredana Cardinale, Giovanni Paganelli

Biosciences Laboratory, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Italy. ., Pathology Unit, Santa Maria delle Croci Hospital, Ravenna, Italy., Biosciences Laboratory, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Italy., Nuclear Medicine Unit, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Italy., Unit of Biostatistics and Clinical Trials, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Italy., Department of Medical Oncology, Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori (IRST) IRCCS, Meldola, Italy.

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