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Publications

The prognostic significance of combined ERG and androgen receptor expression in patients with prostate cancer managed by androgen deprivation therapy

By:
Contributors: Bryan Donnelly, MD, MSc, FRCSC, Tarek Bismar Research Group

Cancer Biol Ther. 2014 Sep;15(9):1120-8. doi: 10.4161/cbt.29689. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

Huang KC1, Alshalalfa M2, Hegazy SA3, Dolph M1, Donnelly B4, Bismar TA5.

 

Abstract

ERG and androgen receptor (AR) are known to function cooperatively in prostate cancer (PCa) progression. However, the prognostic value of combined ERG and AR expression and potential pathways are not well characterized. We assessed ERG and AR protein expression by immunohistochemistry in a cohort of 312 men with PCa diagnosed by transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP). Patients were divided into those with no prior hormonal treatment (designated as PCa/AdvPCa) vs. those with castrate-resistant PCa (CRPC) undergoing channel TURP to relieve obstructive symptoms. The expression status was correlated with various clinical-pathological parameters. The Swedish watchful-waiting cohort was used for validation and characterization of potential gene signatures associated with ERG and AR.   Patients with combined ERG-positive/AR high expression profile demonstrated higher rates of PCa-specific mortality (PCSM) compared with patients with ERG-negative/AR low in patients with no prior treatment (n = 90, P = 0.032), but this was attenuated in the overall cohort which included the CRPC subgroup (n = 125, P = 0.096). The prognostic significance to PCSM was validated in the Swedish watchful waiting cohort in univariate (HR: 3.3; 95% CI: 1.9-5.6, P = 4.25E-5) and multivariate analysis (HR: 2; 95% CI: 0.97-4.1, P = 0.057), which included Gleason score. ERG/AR overexpression status characterized 152 genes signatures including WNT, PI3K/AKT and chemokine signaling pathways known to be deregulated in PCa. In conclusion, combined ERG/AR overexpression signifies a class of patients at highest-risk of PCSM with specific key genetic alteration likely responsible for disease progression. The prognostic value of combined ERG/AR overexpression and its associated genes should be further investigated as potential prognostic and therapeutic targets in prostate cancer progression.

PubMed

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Dr. Nawaid Usmani and team receive funding for their PRIME study!

The PRIME Study – Prevention and Intervention for MEtabolic syndrome:

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), and newer manipulations of androgen receptor signaling have improved outcomes for advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patients.  The toxicities of ADT are many, including an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome (MS; defined as at least 3 of: hyperglycemia; abdominal obesity; hypertriglyceridemia; reduced HDL cholesterol; and/or hypertension). MS is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease mortality, stroke mortality, and all-cause mortality.  The prevalence of MS in men receiving ADT is at least 50% and contributes to decreased quality of life and increased non-cancer-related mortality.  Metformin holds promise as a countermeasure to MS development, and also has been shown to suppress PCa growth in pre-clinical models.

We hypothesize that the addition of metformin to ADT will reduce the rates of MS in men with advanced PCa, diminishing important toxicities of a therapy universally used in advanced disease.

We propose a double-blind, randomized phase III study of metformin or placebo in men with PCa starting intermittent ADT. The primary endpoint is the difference in MS rates at 1 year.  Other aims include evaluation of the influence of metformin on: individual MS components at additional time points; mean serum insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance; weight and quality of life.

A finding that metformin reduces MS incidence and/or has other benefits would change practice, as it would provide a practical and inexpensive strategy to reduce toxicity of an intervention employed in most men with advanced PCa.

- Catalina Vasquez