Neuroendocrine Differentiation in Metastatic Conventional Prostate Cancer Is Significantly Increased in Lymph Node Metastases Compared to the Primary Tumors

Neuroendocrine serum markers released from prostate cancers have been proposed for monitoring disease and predicting survival. However, neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) in various tissue compartments of metastatic prostate cancer is poorly described and its correlation with specific tumor features is unclear. NED was determined by Chromogranin A expression on immunostains from a tissue microarray of 119 nodal positive, hormone treatment-naïve prostate cancer patients who underwent radical prostatectomy and extended lymphadenectomy. NED in the primary cancer and in the metastases was correlated with tumor features and survival. The mean percentage of NED cells increased significantly (p < 0.001) from normal prostate glands (0.4%), to primary prostate cancer (1.0%) and nodal metastases (2.6%). In primary tumors and nodal metastases, tumor areas with higher Gleason patterns tended to display a higher NED, although no significance was reached. The same was observed in patients with a larger primary tumor volume and higher total size and number of metastases. NED neither in the primary tumors nor in the metastases predicted outcome significantly. Our data suggest that (a) increasing levels of neuroendocrine serum markers in the course of prostate cancer might primarily derive from a poorly differentiated metastatic tumor component; and (b) NED in conventional hormone-naïve prostate cancers is not significantly linked to adverse tumor features.

International journal of molecular sciences. 2017 Jul 28*** epublish ***

Vera Genitsch, Inti Zlobec, Roland Seiler, George N Thalmann, Achim Fleischmann

Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern 3008, Switzerland. ., Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern 3008, Switzerland. ., Department of Urology, University of Bern, Bern 3010, Switzerland. ., Department of Urology, University of Bern, Bern 3010, Switzerland. ., Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern 3008, Switzerland. .

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