ERG expression in prostate cancer: biological relevance and clinical implication.

Screening for increased levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) has allowed early detection of a large majority of prostate cancer (PCa) cases. However, the relative lack of specificity of PSA has resulted in significant over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment for indolent tumors.

The fusion of the transmembrane protease serine 2 with E26 transformation-specific family genes, particularly ERG, is the most widespread genetic alteration in prostate cancer, and data suggest that it is more specific for neoplastic prostate disease and may be of added prognostic value and point toward molecular subtype of PCa.

In this review, retrospective studies and clinical trials were analyzed to highlight the recent advances in our understanding of the cellular consequence of ERG rearrangement, describe its interactions with other genetic and molecular pathways, and discuss its potential diagnostic and prognostic value.

ERG over-expression has an emerging role in the diagnosis of PCa pathology, although there is still debate about its prognostic value. Elucidation of the mechanisms of ERG gene rearrangements and expression promises novel therapeutic and diagnostic avenues for prostate cancer.

Journal of cancer research and clinical oncology. 2015 Dec 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Hatem Abou-Ouf, Liena Zhao, Tarek A Bismar

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary and Calgary Laboratory Services, Calgary, AB, Canada. , Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary and Calgary Laboratory Services, Calgary, AB, Canada. , Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary and Calgary Laboratory Services, Calgary, AB, Canada.

PubMed