Mapping of TMPRSS2-ERG fusions in the context of multi-focal prostate cancer

Bungo Furusato, Chun Ling Gao, Lakshmi Ravindranath, Yongmei Chen, Jennifer Cullen, David G. McLeod, Albert Dobi, Shiv Srivastava, Gyorgy Petrovics, Isabell A. Sesterhenn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations

Abstract

TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion leading to the androgenic induction of the ERG proto-oncogene expression is a highly prevalent oncogenic alteration in prostate tumor cells. Prostate cancer is a multi-focal disease, and the origins as well as biological contribution of multiple cancer foci remain unclear with respect to prostate cancer onset or progression. To assess the role of TMPRSS2-ERG alteration in prostate cancer onset and/or progression, we have evaluated the status of fusion transcripts in benign glands, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and multiple cancer foci of each prostate. Quantitative expression of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion type A and C transcripts was analyzed in benign, tumor and PIN areas, selected from whole-mount radical prostatectomy slides. TMPRSS2-ERG expression was correlated with clinicopathological features. Overall, 30 of 45 (67%) patients exhibited TMPRSS2-ERG fusion transcripts in at least one tumor focus. Of 80 tumor foci analyzed, 39 had TMPRSS2-ERG fusion (type A only: 30, type C only: 2, both types A and C: 7), with predominant detection of the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion type A (27/30, 90%) in the index tumors. Of 14 PIN lesions, 2 were positive for type A fusion. Frequent presence of the TMPRSS2-ERG in index tumors suggests critical roles of ERG alterations in the onset and progression of a large subset of prostate cancer. However, heterogeneity of the TMPRSS2-ERG detection in the context of multiple cancer foci and its frequency in PIN also support the role of other genomic alterations in the origins of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalModern Pathology
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ERG
  • Gene fusion
  • Multi-focal
  • Prostate cancer
  • TMPRSS2

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