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1.  Sleep Disruption Among Older Men and Risk of Prostate Cancer 
Background
While positive associations have consistently been reported between sleep disruption and breast cancer, less is known about its potential role in prostate cancer.
Methods
Within the prospective AGES-Reykjavik cohort study, we followed 2,102 men recruited in 2002–2006 until the end of 2009. Participants answered questions on sleep disruption. Information on the occurrence of prostate cancer was obtained through record-linkages across the Icelandic Cancer Registry. We used Cox regression models with 95% confidence intervals [CIs] to estimate hazard ratios [HR] of prostate cancer by symptoms of sleep disruption.
Results
During follow-up, 135 men (6.4%) were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Compared to men without sleep disruption, those with problems falling and staying asleep were at significantly increased risk of prostate cancer [HR, 1.7 (95% CI, 1.0–2.9) and 2.1 (95% CI, 1.2–3.7)], respectively, with increasing sleep disruption severity. When restricted to advanced prostate cancer (≥ stage T3 or lethal disease), these associations became even stronger [HRs 2.1 (95% CI, 0.7–6.2) and 3.2 (95% CI, 1.1–9.7)]. The results did not change after excluding from the analyses men who woke up during the night, indicative of nocturia, suggesting limited risk of reverse association.
Conclusions
Our data suggest that certain aspects of sleep disruption may confer an increased risk of prostate cancer and call for additional, larger studies with longer follow-up times.
Impact
Prostate cancer is one of the leading public health concerns in men; if confirmed in future studies the association between sleep disruption and prostate cancer risk may open new avenues for prevention.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1227-T
PMCID: PMC3652595  PMID: 23652374
prostate cancer; circadian disruption; sleep disruption; cohort study; melatonin; light at night
2.  SPOP Mutations in Prostate Cancer across Demographically Diverse Patient Cohorts12 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2014;16(1):14-20.
Background
Recurrent mutations in the Speckle-Type POZ Protein (SPOP) gene occur in up to 15% of prostate cancers. However, the frequency and features of cancers with these mutations across different populations is unknown.
Objective
To investigate SPOP mutations across diverse cohorts and validate a series of assays employing high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis and Sanger sequencing for mutational analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded material.
Design, Setting, and Participants
720 prostate cancer samples from six international cohorts spanning Caucasian, African American, and Asian patients, including both prostate-specific antigen-screened and unscreened populations, were screened for their SPOP mutation status. Status of SPOP was correlated to molecular features (ERG rearrangement, PTEN deletion, and CHD1 deletion) as well as clinical and pathologic features.
Results and Limitations
Overall frequency of SPOP mutations was 8.1% (4.6% to 14.4%), SPOP mutation was inversely associated with ERG rearrangement (P < .01), and SPOP mutant (SPOPmut) cancers had higher rates of CHD1 deletions (P < .01). There were no significant differences in biochemical recurrence in SPOPmut cancers. Limitations of this study include missing mutational data due to sample quality and lack of power to identify a difference in clinical outcomes.
Conclusion
SPOP is mutated in 4.6% to 14.4% of patients with prostate cancer across different ethnic and demographic backgrounds. There was no significant association between SPOP mutations with ethnicity, clinical, or pathologic parameters. Mutual exclusivity of SPOP mutation with ERG rearrangement as well as a high association with CHD1 deletion reinforces SPOP mutation as defining a distinct molecular subclass of prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3924544  PMID: 24563616
3.  Increasing use of radical prostatectomy for non-lethal prostate cancer in Sweden 
Purpose
The number of patients in Sweden treated with radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer has increased exponentially. The extent to which this increase reflects treatment of non-lethal disease detected through PSA screening is unknown.
Experimental design
We undertook a nationwide study of all 18,837 prostate cancer patients treated with radical prostatectomy in Sweden from 1988 to 2008 with complete follow-up through 2009. We compared cumulative incidence curves, fit Cox regression and cure models and performed a simulation study to determine changes in treatment of non-lethal cancer, in cancer-specific survival over time, and effect of lead-time due to PSA screening.
Results
The annual number of radical prostatectomies increased 25-fold during the study period. The five-year cancer-specific mortality decreased from 3.9% (95% CI 2.5 to 5.3) among patients diagnosed between 1988 and 1992 to 0.7% (95% CI 0.4–1.1) among those diagnosed between 1998 and 2002 (p for trend < 0.001). According to the cure model, the risk of not being cured declined by 13% (95% CI 12–14%) with each calendar year. The simulation study indicated that only about half of the improvement in disease-specific survival could be accounted for by lead-time.
Conclusion
Patients overdiagnosed with non-lethal prostate cancer appear to account for a substantial and growing part of the dramatic increase in radical prostatectomies in Sweden but increasing survival rates are likely also due to true reductions in the risk of disease-specific death over time. Because the magnitude of harm and costs due to overtreatment can be considerable, identification of men who likely benefit from radical prostatectomy is urgently needed.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-1537
PMCID: PMC3711175  PMID: 22927485
Overdiagnosis; prostate cancer; PSA screening; radical prostatectomy
4.  Mortality following a brain tumour diagnosis in patients with multiple sclerosis 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003622.
Objectives
As brain tumours and their treatment may theoretically have a poorer prognosis in inflammatory central nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), all-cause mortality following a brain tumour diagnosis was compared between patients with and without MS. The potential role of age at tumour diagnosis was also examined.
Setting
Hospital inpatients in Sweden with assessment of mortality in hospital or following discharge.
Participants
Swedish national registers identified 20 543 patients with an MS diagnosis (1969–2005) and they were matched individually to produce a comparison cohort of 204 163 members of the general population without MS. Everyone with a primary brain tumour diagnosis was selected for this study: 111 with MS and 907 without MS.
Primary and secondary outcome measures
5-year mortality risk following brain tumour diagnosis and age at brain tumour diagnosis.
Results
A non-statistically significant lower mortality risk among patients with MS (lower for those with tumours of high-grade and uncertain-grade malignancy and no notable difference for low-grade tumours) produced an unadjusted HR (and 95% CI) of 0.75 (0.56 to 1.02). After adjustment for age at diagnosis, grade of malignancy, sex, region of residence and socioeconomic index, the HR is 0.91 (0.67–1.24). The change in estimate was largely due to adjustment for age at brain tumour diagnosis, as patients with MS were on average 4.7 years younger at brain tumour diagnosis than those in the comparison cohort (p<0.001).
Conclusions
Younger age at tumour diagnosis may contribute to mortality reduction in those with high-grade and uncertain-grade brain tumours. Survival following a brain tumour is not worse in patients with MS; even after age at brain tumour diagnosis and grade of malignancy are taken into account.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003622
PMCID: PMC3831093  PMID: 24220114
5.  Dietary Fatty Acid Intake and Prostate Cancer Survival in Örebro County, Sweden 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2012;176(3):240-252.
Although dietary fat has been associated with prostate cancer risk, the association between specific fatty acids and prostate cancer survival remains unclear. Dietary intake of 14 fatty acids was analyzed in a population-based cohort of 525 Swedish men with prostate cancer in Örebro County (1989–1994). Multivariable hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for time to prostate cancer death by quartile and per standard deviation increase in intake were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression. Additional models examined the association by stage at diagnosis (localized: T0-T2/M0; advanced: T0-T4/M1, T3-T4/M0). Among all men, those with the highest omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid and total marine fatty acid intakes were 40% less likely to die from prostate cancer (Ptrend = 0.05 and 0.04, respectively). Among men with localized prostate cancer, hazard ratios of 2.07 (95% confidence interval: 0.93, 4.59; Ptrend = 0.03) for elevated total fat, 2.39 (95% confidence interval: 1.06, 5.38) for saturated myristic acid, and 2.88 (95% confidence interval: 1.24, 6.67) for shorter chain (C4-C10) fatty acid intakes demonstrated increased risk for disease-specific mortality for the highest quartile compared with the lowest quartile. This study suggests that high intake of total fat and certain saturated fatty acids may worsen prostate cancer survival, particularly among men with localized disease. In contrast, high marine omega-3 fatty acid intake may improve disease-specific survival for all men.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr520
PMCID: PMC3491963  PMID: 22781428
fatty acids; prostatic neoplasms; survival analysis
6.  Seasonal variation in expression of markers in the vitamin D pathway in prostate tissue 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2012;23(8):1359-1366.
Purpose
Recent studies suggest variation in genes along the vitamin D pathway, as well as vitamin D receptor (VDR) protein levels, may be associated with prostate cancer. As serum vitamin D levels vary by season, we sought to determine whether expression of genes on the vitamin D pathway, assessed in prostate tumor tissue, do the same.
Methods
Our study incorporates mRNA expression data from 362 men in the Swedish Watchful Waiting cohort, diagnosed between 1977 and 1999, and 106 men enrolled in the US Physicians’ Health Study (PHS) diagnosed between 1983 and 2004. We also assayed for VDR protein expression among 832 men in the PHS and Health Professionals Follow-up Study cohorts. Season was characterized by date of initial tissue specimen collection categorically and by average monthly ultraviolet radiation levels. One-way analysis of variance was used to examine variation in expression levels of six genes on the vitamin D pathway – VDR, GC, CYP27A1, CYP27B1, RXRα, CYP24A1 – and VDR protein by season, adjusted for age at diagnosis and Gleason grade. Variation was also examined separately among lethal and nonlethal cases.
Results
Tumor expression levels of the six genes did not significantly vary by season of tissue collection. No consistent patterns emerged from subgroup analyses by lethal versus nonlethal cases.
Conclusions
Unlike circulating levels of 25-OH vitamin D, expression levels of genes on the vitamin D pathway and VDR protein did not vary overall by season of tissue collection. Epidemiological analyses of vitamin D gene expression may not be biased by seasonality.
doi:10.1007/s10552-012-0016-9
PMCID: PMC3589913  PMID: 22710747
Vitamin D; Vitamin D receptor; prostate cancer; gene expression; seasonality; biomarkers
7.  Inflammation, Focal Atrophic Lesions, and Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN) with Respect to Risk of Lethal Prostate Cancer 
Background
A challenge in prostate cancer (PCa) management is identifying potentially lethal disease at diagnosis. Inflammation, focal prostatic atrophy and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) are common in prostate tumor specimens, but it is not clear whether these lesions have prognostic significance.
Methods
We conducted a case-control study nested in a cohort of men diagnosed with stage T1a-b PCa through transurethral resection of the prostate in Sweden. Cases are men who died of PCa (n=228). Controls are men who survived more than 10 years after PCa diagnosis without metastases (n=387). Slides were assessed for Gleason grade, inflammation, PIN, and four subtypes of focal prostatic atrophy: simple atrophy (SA), post-atrophic hyperplasia (PAH), simple atrophy with cyst formation, and partial atrophy. We estimated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for odds of lethal PCa with multivariable logistic regression.
Results
Chronic inflammation and PIN were more frequently observed in tumors with PAH, but not SA. No specific type of atrophy or inflammation was significantly associated with lethal PCa overall, but there was a suggestion of a positive association for chronic inflammation. Independent of age, Gleason score, year of diagnosis, inflammation, and atrophy type, men with PIN were 89% more likely to die of PCa (95% CI:1.04-3.42).
Conclusions
Our data demonstrate that PIN, and perhaps presence of moderate or severe chronic inflammation, may have prognostic significance for PCa.
Impact
Lesions in tumor adjacent tissue, and not just the tumor itself, may aid in identification of clinically relevant disease.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0373
PMCID: PMC3671592  PMID: 21953116
Prostate adenocarcinoma; Chronic inflammation; Post-atrophic hyperplasia; Lethal prostate cancer
8.  Consumption of Fish Products across the Lifespan and Prostate Cancer Risk 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e59799.
Objective
To examine whether fish and fish oil consumption across the lifespan is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer.
Design
The study was nested among 2268 men aged 67–96 years in the AGES-Reykjavik cohort study. In 2002 to 2006, dietary habits were assessed, for early life, midlife and later life using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Participants were followed for prostate cancer diagnosis and mortality through 2009 via linkage to nationwide cancer- and mortality registers. Adjusting for potential confounders, we used regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs) for prostate cancer according to fish and fish oil consumption.
Results
Among the 2268 men, we ascertained 214 prevalent and 133 incident prostate cancer cases, of which 63 had advanced disease. High fish consumption in early- and midlife was not associated with overall or advanced prostate cancer. High intake of salted or smoked fish was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of advanced prostate cancer both in early life (95% CI: 1.08, 3.62) and in later life (95% CI: 1.04, 5.00). Men consuming fish oil in later life had a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer [HR (95%CI): 0.43 (0.19, 0.95)], no association was found for early life or midlife consumption.
Conclusions
Salted or smoked fish may increase risk of advanced prostate cancer, whereas fish oil consumption may be protective against progression of prostate cancer in elderly men. In a setting with very high fish consumption, no association was found between overall fish consumption in early or midlife and prostate cancer risk.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059799
PMCID: PMC3629172  PMID: 23613715
9.  Rye Bread Consumption in Early Life and Reduced Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2012;23(6):941-950.
Objective
To determine whether consumption of whole-grain; rye bread, oatmeal, and whole-wheat bread, during different periods of life, is associated with risk of prostate cancer (PCa).
Methods
In 2002 to 2006, 2,268 men, aged 67-96 years, reported their dietary habits in the AGES-Reykjavik cohort study. Dietary habits were assessed for early-, mid- , and current life using a validated food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Through linkage to cancer- and mortality registers, we retrieved information on PCa diagnosis and mortality through 2009. We used regression models to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and hazard ratios (HRs) for PCa according to whole grain consumption, adjusted for possible confounding factors including fish-, fish liver oil-, meat-, and milk intake.
Results
Of the 2,268 men, 347 had or were diagnosed with PCa during follow-up, 63 with advanced disease (stage 3+ or died of PCa). Daily rye bread consumption in adolescence (vs. less than daily) was associated with a decreased risk of PCa diagnosis (OR = 0.76, 95% Confidence interval (CI): 0.59-0.98), and of advanced PCa (OR = 0.47, 95% CI: 0.27-0.84). High intake of oatmeal in adolescence (≥5 vs. ≤4 times/ week) was not significantly associated with risk of PCa diagnosis (OR = 0.99, 95% CI: 0.77-1.27) nor advanced PCa (OR = 0.67, 95% CI: 0.37-1.20). Mid-, and late life consumption of rye bread, oatmeal, or whole-wheat bread was not associated with PCa risk.
Conclusion
Our results suggest that rye bread consumption in adolescence may be associated with reduced risk of PCa, particularly advanced disease.
doi:10.1007/s10552-012-9965-2
PMCID: PMC3568695  PMID: 22527172
adolescent; diet; epidemiology; rye bread; prostatic neoplasms; whole-grain; AGES Reykjavik study
10.  Genetic variation in the Toll-Like Receptor 4 and prostate cancer incidence and mortality 
The Prostate  2011;72(2):209-216.
Background
Common genetic variants in the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), which is involved in inflammation and immune response pathways, may be important for prostate cancer.
Methods
In a large nested case-control study of prostate cancer in the Physicians’ Health Study (1982–2004), 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected and genotyped to capture common variation within the TLR4 gene as well as 5 kilobases up and downstream. Unconditional logistic regression was used to assess associations of these SNPs with total prostate cancer incidence, and with prostate cancers defined as advanced stage/lethal (T3/T4, M1/N1(T1-T4), lethal) or high Gleason grade (7 (4+3) or greater). Cox-proportional hazards regression was used to assess progression to metastases and death among prostate cancer cases.
Results
The study included 1267 controls and 1286 incident prostate cancer cases, including 248 advanced stage/lethal and 306 high grade cases. During a median follow-up of 10.6 years, 183 men died of prostate cancer or developed distant metastases. No statistically significant associations between the TLR4 SNPs were found for total prostate cancer incidence, including SNPs for which an association was reported in other published studies. Additionally, there were no significant associations with TLR4 SNPS and the incidence of advanced stage/lethal, or high grade cancers; nor was there evidence among prostate cancer cases for associations of TLR4 SNPs with progression to prostate cancer specific mortality or bony metastases.
Conclusions
Results from this prospective nested case-control study suggest that genetic variation across TLR4 alone is not strongly associated with prostate cancer risk or mortality.
doi:10.1002/pros.21423
PMCID: PMC3175021  PMID: 21563195
TLR4; prostate cancer; inflammation; molecular epidemiology
11.  Milk Intake in Early Life and Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;175(2):144-153.
The authors investigated whether early-life residency in certain areas of Iceland marked by distinct differences in milk intake was associated with risk of prostate cancer in a population-based cohort of 8,894 men born between 1907 and 1935. Through linkage to cancer and mortality registers, the men were followed for prostate cancer diagnosis and mortality from study entry (in waves from 1967 to 1987) through 2009. In 2002–2006, a subgroup of 2,268 participants reported their milk intake in early, mid-, and current life. During a mean follow-up period of 24.3 years, 1,123 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, including 371 with advanced disease (stage 3 or higher or prostate cancer death). Compared with early-life residency in the capital area, rural residency in the first 20 years of life was marginally associated with increased risk of advanced prostate cancer (hazard ratio = 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.97, 1.73), particularly among men born before 1920 (hazard ratio = 1.64, 95% CI: 1.06, 2.56). Daily milk consumption in adolescence (vs. less than daily), but not in midlife or currently, was associated with a 3.2-fold risk of advanced prostate cancer (95% CI: 1.25, 8.28). These data suggest that frequent milk intake in adolescence increases risk of advanced prostate cancer.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr289
PMCID: PMC3249408  PMID: 22190107
adolescent; diet; Iceland; milk; prostatic neoplasms; risk factors
12.  Circadian Disruption, Sleep Loss and Prostate Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review of Epidemiological Studies 
Disruption of the circadian system has been hypothesized to increase cancer risk, either due to direct disruption of the molecular machinery generating circadian rhythms or due to disruption of parameters controlled by the clock such as melatonin levels or sleep duration. This hypothesis has been studied in hormone-dependent cancers among women, but data are sparse regarding potential effects of circadian disruption on the risk of prostate cancer. This review systematically examines available data evaluating the effects of light at night, sleep patterns, and night shift work on prostate cancer risk.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-0116
PMCID: PMC3392423  PMID: 22564869
prostate cancer; circadian disruption; sleep disruption; shift work; melatonin; light at night
13.  Utility of multispectral imaging in automated quantitative scoring of immunohistochemistry 
Journal of clinical pathology  2012;65(6):496-502.
Background
Automated scanning devices and image analysis software provide a means to overcome the limitations of manual semiquantitative scoring of immunohistochemistry. Common drawbacks to automated imaging systems include an inability to classify tissue type and an inability to segregate cytoplasmic and nuclear staining.
Methods
Immunohistochemistry for the membranous marker α-catenin, the cytoplasmic marker stathmin and the nuclear marker Ki-67 was performed on tissue microarrays (TMA) of archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue comprising 471 (α-catenin and stathmin) and 511 (Ki-67) cases of prostate adenocarcinoma. These TMA were quantitatively analysed using two commercially available automated image analysers, the Ariol SL-50 system and the Nuance system from CRi. Both systems use brightfield microscopy for automated, unbiased and standardised quantification of immunohistochemistry, while the Nuance system has spectral deconvolution capabilities.
Results
Overall concordance between scores from both systems was excellent (r=0.90; 0.83–0.95). The software associated with the multispectral imager allowed accurate automated classification of tissue type into epithelial glandular structures and stroma, and a single-step segmentation of staining into cytoplasmic or nuclear compartments allowing independent evaluation of these areas. The Nuance system, however, was not able to distinguish reliably between tumour and non-tumour tissue. In addition, variance in the labour and time required for analysis between the two systems was also noted.
Conclusion
Despite limitations, this study suggests some beneficial role for the use of a multispectral imaging system in automated analysis of immunohistochemistry.
doi:10.1136/jclinpath-2012-200734
PMCID: PMC3437674  PMID: 22447914
14.  mRNA Expression Signature of Gleason Grade Predicts Lethal Prostate Cancer 
Journal of Clinical Oncology  2011;29(17):2391-2396.
Purpose
Prostate-specific antigen screening has led to enormous overtreatment of prostate cancer because of the inability to distinguish potentially lethal disease at diagnosis. We reasoned that by identifying an mRNA signature of Gleason grade, the best predictor of prognosis, we could improve prediction of lethal disease among men with moderate Gleason 7 tumors, the most common grade, and the most indeterminate in terms of prognosis.
Patients and Methods
Using the complementary DNA–mediated annealing, selection, extension, and ligation assay, we measured the mRNA expression of 6,100 genes in prostate tumor tissue in the Swedish Watchful Waiting cohort (n = 358) and Physicians' Health Study (PHS; n = 109). We developed an mRNA signature of Gleason grade comparing individuals with Gleason ≤ 6 to those with Gleason ≥ 8 tumors and applied the model among patients with Gleason 7 to discriminate lethal cases.
Results
We built a 157-gene signature using the Swedish data that predicted Gleason with low misclassification (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.91); when this signature was tested in the PHS, the discriminatory ability remained high (AUC = 0.94). In men with Gleason 7 tumors, who were excluded from the model building, the signature significantly improved the prediction of lethal disease beyond knowing whether the Gleason score was 4 + 3 or 3 + 4 (P = .006).
Conclusion
Our expression signature and the genes identified may improve our understanding of the de-differentiation process of prostate tumors. Additionally, the signature may have clinical applications among men with Gleason 7, by further estimating their risk of lethal prostate cancer and thereby guiding therapy decisions to improve outcomes and reduce overtreatment.
doi:10.1200/JCO.2010.32.6421
PMCID: PMC3107753  PMID: 21537050
15.  Genetic variation in RNASEL associated with prostate cancer risk and progression 
Carcinogenesis  2010;31(9):1597-1603.
Variation in genes contributing to the host immune response may mediate the relationship between inflammation and prostate carcinogenesis. RNASEL at chromosome 1q25 encodes ribonuclease L, part of the interferon-mediated immune response to viral infection. We therefore investigated the association between variation in RNASEL and prostate cancer risk and progression in a study of 1286 cases and 1264 controls nested within the prospective Physicians’ Health Study. Eleven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected using the web-based ‘Tagger’ in the HapMap CEPH panel (Utah residents of Northern and Western European Ancestry). Unconditional logistic regression models assessed the relationship between each SNP and incident advanced stage (T3/T4, T0-T4/M1 and lethal disease) and high Gleason grade (≥7) prostate cancer. Further analyses were stratified by calendar year of diagnosis. Cox proportional hazards models examined the relationship between genotype and prostate cancer-specific survival. We also explored associations between genotype and serum inflammatory biomarkers interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha receptor 2 using linear regression. Individuals homozygous for the variant allele of rs12757998 had an increased risk of prostate cancer [AA versus GG; odds ratio (OR): 1.63, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.18–2.25), and more specifically, high-grade tumors (OR: 1.90, 95% CI: 1.25–2.89). The same genotype was associated with increased CRP (P = 0.02) and IL-6 (P = 0.05) levels. Missense mutations R462Q and D541E were associated with an increased risk of advanced stage disease only in the pre-prostate-specific antigen era. There were no significant associations with survival. The results of this study support a link between RNASEL and prostate cancer and suggest that the association may be mediated through inflammation. These novel findings warrant replication in future studies.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgq132
PMCID: PMC2930803  PMID: 20576793
16.  Immunohistochemical expression of BRCA1 and lethal prostate cancer 
Cancer research  2010;70(8):3136-3139.
BRCA1 functions as a tumor suppressor; recent work suggests that BRCA1 may also induce cell-cycle arrest to allow for DNA repair. We hypothesized that BRCA1 expression in prostate tumor tissue may be associated with prostate cancer progression through regulation of the cell-cycle. We used immunohistochemistry to evaluate BRCA1 protein expression in archival tumors samples from 393 prostate cancer cases in the Physicians' Health Study. The men were followed prospectively from diagnosis to development of metastases and mortality. Fifteen percent of tumors stained positive for BRCA1. BRCA1 positive tumors had substantially increased tumor proliferation index compared to negative tumors (47.0 Ki67 positive nuclei vs. 10.3, p=0.0016), and were more likely to develop lethal cancer compared to BRCA1 negative tumors (Hazard ratio=4.6; 95% Confidence interval: 2.4, 8.7). These findings strengthen the hypothesis that BRCA1 plays a role in cell-cycle control and demonstrate that BRCA1 is a marker of clinical prostate cancer prognosis.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-4100
PMCID: PMC3049266  PMID: 20388772
17.  Estrogen-dependent signaling in a molecularly distinct subclass of aggressive prostate cancer 
Background
The majority of prostate cancers harbor gene fusions of the 5′-untranslated region of the androgen-regulated transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) promoter with erythroblast transformation specific (ETS) transcription factor family members. The common v-ets erythroblastosis virus E26 oncogene homolog [avian] (TMPRSS2–ERG) fusion is associated with a more aggressive clinical phenotype, implying the existence of a distinct subclass of prostate cancer defined by this fusion.
Methods
We used cDNA-mediated annealing, selection, ligation, and extension to determine the expression profiles of 6144 transcriptionally informative genes in archived biopsy samples from 455 prostate cancer patients in the Swedish Watchful Waiting cohort (1987–1999) and the US-based Physicians Health Study cohort (1983–2003). A gene expression signature for prostate cancers with the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion was determined using partitioning and classification models and used in computational functional analysis. Cell proliferation and TMPRSS2-ERG expression in androgen receptor–negative (NCI-H660) and –positive (VCaP-ERβ) prostate cancer cells after treatment with vehicle or estrogenic compounds were assessed by viability assays and quantitative polymerase chain reaction, respectively. All statistical tests were two-sided.
Results
We identified an 87-gene expression signature that distinguishes TMPRSS2-ERG fusion prostate cancer as a discrete molecular entity (area under the curve = 0.80, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.792 to 0.81; P<.001). Computational analysis suggested that this fusion signature was associated with estrogen receptor (ER) signaling. Viability of NCI-H660 cells decreased after treatment with estrogen (viability normalized to day 0, estrogen vs vehicle at day 8, mean = 2.04 vs 3.40, difference = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.12 to 1.62) or ERβ agonist (ERβ agonist vs vehicle at day 8, mean = 1.86 vs 3.40, difference = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.39 to 1.69) but increased after ERα agonist treatment (ERα agonist vs vehicle at day 8, mean = 4.36 vs 3.40, difference = 0.96, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.23). Similarly, expression of TMPRSS2-ERG decreased after ERβ agonist treatment (fold change over internal control, ERβ agonist vs vehicle at 24 hours, NCI H660, mean = 0.57-fold vs 1.0-fold, difference = 0.43, 95% CI = 0.29-fold to 0.57-fold) and increased after ERα agonist treatment (ERα agonist vs vehicle at 24 hours, mean = 5.63-fold vs 1.0-fold, difference = 4.63-fold, 95% CI = 4.34-fold to 4.92-fold).
Conclusions
TMPRSS2-ERG fusion prostate cancer is a distinct molecular subclass. TMPRSS2-ERG expression is regulated by a novel ER-dependent mechanism.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djn150
PMCID: PMC3073404  PMID: 18505969
18.  Prediagnostic Plasma Vitamin D Metabolites and Mortality among Patients with Prostate Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(4):e18625.
Background
Laboratory evidence suggests that vitamin D might influence prostate cancer prognosis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We examined the associations between prediagnostic plasma levels of 25(OH)vitamin D [25(OH)D] and 1,25(OH)2vitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] and mortality among 1822 participants of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Physicians' Health Study who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Cox proportional hazards models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of total mortality (n = 595) and lethal prostate cancer (death from prostate cancer or development of bone metastases; n = 202). In models adjusted for age at diagnosis, BMI, physical activity, and smoking, we observed a HR of 1.22 (95% CI: 0.97, 1.54) for total mortality, comparing men in the lowest to the highest quartile of 25(OH)D. There was no association between 1,25(OH)2D and total mortality. Men with the lowest 25(OH)D quartile were more likely to die of their cancer (HR: 1.59; 95% CI: 1.06, 2.39) compared to those in the highest quartile (Ptrend = 0.006). This association was largely explained by the association between low 25(OH)D levels and advanced cancer stage and higher Gleason score, suggesting that these variables may mediate the influence of 25(OH)D on prognosis. The association also tended to be stronger among patients with samples collected within five years of cancer diagnosis. 1,25(OH)2D levels were not associated with lethal prostate cancer.
Conclusions/Significance
Although potential bias of less advanced disease due to more screening activity among men with high 25(OH)D levels cannot be ruled out, higher prediagnostic plasma 25(OH)D might be associated with improved prostate cancer prognosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018625
PMCID: PMC3071841  PMID: 21494639
19.  Development of a New Method for Monitoring Prostate-Specific Antigen Changes in Men with Localised Prostate Cancer: A Comparison of Observational Cohorts 
European urology  2009;57(3):446-452.
Background
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) measurements are increasingly used to monitor men with localised prostate cancer (PCa), but there is little consensus about the method to use.
Objective
To apply age-specific predictions of PSA level (developed in men without cancer) to one cohort of men with clinically identified PCa and one cohort of men with PSA-detected PCa. We hypothesise that among men with clinically identified cancer, the annual increase in PSA level would be steeper than in men with PSA-detected cancer.
Design, setting, and participants
The Scandinavian Prostatic Cancer Group 4 (SPCG-4) cohort consisted of 321 men assigned to the watchful waiting arm of the SPCG-4 trial. The UK cohort consisted of 320 men with PSA-detected PCa in the Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment (ProtecT) study in nine UK centres between 1999 and 2007 who opted for monitoring rather than treatment. Multilevel models describing changes in PSA level were fitted to the two cohorts, and average PSA level at age 50, change in PSA level with age, and predicted PSA values were derived.
Measurements
PSA level.
Results and limitations
In the SPCG-4 cohort, mean PSA at age 50 was similar to the cancer-free cohort but with a steeper yearly increase in PSA level (16.4% vs 4.0%). In the UK cohort, mean PSA level was higher than that in the cancer-free cohort (due to a PSA biopsy threshold of 3.0 ng/ml) but with a similar yearly increase in PSA level (4.1%). Predictions were less accurate for the SPCG-4 cohort (median observed minus predicted PSA level: −2.0 ng/ml; interquartile range [IQR]: −7.6–0.7 ng/ml) than for the UK cohort (median observed minus predicted PSA level: −0.8 ng/ml; IQR: −2.1–0.1 ng/ml).
Conclusions
In PSA-detected men, yearly change in PSA was similar to that in cancer-free men, whereas in men with symptomatic PCa, the yearly change in PSA level was considerably higher. Our method needs further evaluation but has promise for refining active monitoring protocols.
doi:10.1016/j.eururo.2009.03.023
PMCID: PMC2910432  PMID: 19303695
active surveillance; localised prostate cancer; PSA doubling time; PSA velocity; reference ranges
20.  An Exploration of Shared Genetic Risk Factors Between Periodontal Disease and Cancers: A Prospective Co-Twin Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2009;171(2):253-259.
Biologic mechanisms underlying associations of periodontal disease with cancers remain unknown. The authors propose that both conditions share common genetic risk factors. They analyzed associations between baseline periodontal disease, measured by questionnaire-recorded tooth mobility, and incident cancers, identified by linkage with national registries, between 1963 and 2004 in 15,333 Swedish twins. The authors used co-twin analyses to control for familial factors and undertook analyses restricted to monozygotic twins to further control for confounding by genetic factors. They observed 4,361 cancer cases over 548,913 person-years. After adjustment for covariates, baseline periodontal disease was associated with increased risk of several cancers ranging from 15% for total cancer (proportional hazard ratio (HR) = 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01, 1.32) to 120% for corpus uterine cancer (HR = 2.20, 95% CI: 1.16, 4.18). Periodontal disease was also associated with increased risk of colorectal (HR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.13, 2.33), pancreatic (HR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.14, 3.75), and prostate (HR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.04, 2.07) cancers. In co-twin analyses, dizygotic twins with baseline periodontal disease showed a 50% increase in total cancer risk (HR = 1.50, 95% CI: 1.04, 2.17), but in monozygotic twins this association was markedly attenuated (HR = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.63, 1.81). Similar patterns emerged for digestive tract cancers, suggesting that shared genetic risk factors may partially explain associations between periodontal disease and cancers.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwp340
PMCID: PMC2878098  PMID: 19969528
genetics; neoplasms; periodontal diseases; twins
21.  Prospective Study of Trichomonas vaginalis Infection and Prostate Cancer Incidence and Mortality: Physicians' Health Study 
Background
A recent nested case–control study found that the presence of antibodies against Trichomonas vaginalis, a common nonviral sexually transmitted infection, was positively associated with subsequent incidence of prostate cancer. We confirmed these findings in an independent population and related serostatus for antibodies against T vaginalis to prostate cancer incidence and mortality.
Methods
We conducted a case–control study nested within the Physicians’ Health Study that included 673 case subjects with prostate cancer and 673 individually matched control subjects who had available plasma samples. Plasma from blood samples collected at baseline was assayed for antibodies against T vaginalis with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We used conditional logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) of incident prostate cancer, extraprostatic prostate cancer, and cancer that would ultimately progress to bony metastases or prostate cancer–specific death.
Results
Although not statistically significant, the magnitude of the association between T vaginalis–seropositive status and overall prostate cancer risk (OR = 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.94 to 1.61) was similar to that reported previously. Furthermore, a seropositive status was associated with statistically significantly increased risks of extraprostatic prostate cancer (OR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.08 to 4.37) and of cancer that would ultimately progress to bony metastases or prostate cancer–specific death (OR = 2.69, 95% CI = 1.37 to 5.28).
Conclusions
This large prospective case–control study obtained further support for an association between a seropositive status for antibodies against T vaginalis and the risk of prostate cancer, with statistically significant associations identified for the risk of extraprostatic prostate cancer and for clinically relevant, potentially lethal prostate cancer.
doi:10.1093/jnci/djp306
PMCID: PMC2765259  PMID: 19741211
22.  Molecular sampling of prostate cancer: a dilemma for predicting disease progression 
Background
Current prostate cancer prognostic models are based on pre-treatment prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, biopsy Gleason score, and clinical staging but in practice are inadequate to accurately predict disease progression. Hence, we sought to develop a molecular panel for prostate cancer progression by reasoning that molecular profiles might further improve current clinical models.
Methods
We analyzed a Swedish Watchful Waiting cohort with up to 30 years of clinical follow up using a novel method for gene expression profiling. This cDNA-mediated annealing, selection, ligation, and extension (DASL) method enabled the use of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) samples taken at the time of the initial diagnosis. We determined the expression profiles of 6100 genes for 281 men divided in two extreme groups: men who died of prostate cancer and men who survived more than 10 years without metastases (lethals and indolents, respectively). Several statistical and machine learning models using clinical and molecular features were evaluated for their ability to distinguish lethal from indolent cases.
Results
Surprisingly, none of the predictive models using molecular profiles significantly improved over models using clinical variables only. Additional computational analysis confirmed that molecular heterogeneity within both the lethal and indolent classes is widespread in prostate cancer as compared to other types of tumors.
Conclusions
The determination of the molecularly dominant tumor nodule may be limited by sampling at time of initial diagnosis, may not be present at time of initial diagnosis, or may occur as the disease progresses making the development of molecular biomarkers for prostate cancer progression challenging.
doi:10.1186/1755-8794-3-8
PMCID: PMC2855514  PMID: 20233430
23.  Immediate Risk for Cardiovascular Events and Suicide Following a Prostate Cancer Diagnosis: Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(12):e1000197.
Katja Fall and Fang Fang and colleagues find that men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer are at increased risk of cardiovascular events and suicide.
Background
Stressful life events have been shown to be associated with altered risk of various health consequences. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the emotional stress evoked by a prostate cancer diagnosis increases the immediate risks of cardiovascular events and suicide.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a prospective cohort study by following all men in Sweden who were 30 y or older (n = 4,305,358) for a diagnosis of prostate cancer (n = 168,584) and their subsequent occurrence of cardiovascular events and suicide between January 1, 1961 and December 31, 2004. We used Poisson regression models to calculate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of cardiovascular events and suicide among men who had prostate cancer diagnosed within 1 y to men without any cancer diagnosis. The risks of cardiovascular events and suicide were elevated during the first year after prostate cancer diagnosis, particularly during the first week. Before 1987, the RR of fatal cardiovascular events was 11.2 (95% CI 10.4–12.1) during the first week and 1.9 (95% CI 1.9–2.0) during the first year after diagnosis. From 1987, the RR for cardiovascular events, nonfatal and fatal combined, was 2.8 (95% CI 2.5–3.2) during the first week and 1.3 (95% CI 1.3–1.3) during the first year after diagnosis. While the RR of cardiovascular events declined, the RR of suicide was stable over the entire study period: 8.4 (95% CI 1.9–22.7) during the first week and 2.6 (95% CI 2.1–3.0) during the first year after diagnosis. Men 54 y or younger at cancer diagnosis demonstrated the highest RRs of both cardiovascular events and suicide. A limitation of the present study is the lack of tumor stage data, which precluded possibilities of investigating the potential impact of the disease severity on the relationship between a recent diagnosis of prostate cancer and the risks of cardiovascular events and suicide. In addition, we cannot exclude residual confounding as a possible explanation.
Conclusions
Men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer are at increased risks for cardiovascular events and suicide. Future studies with detailed disease characteristic data are warranted.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Prostate cancer—a type of tumor that develops in a walnut-sized structure in the male reproductive system—is the commonest cancer (excluding skin cancer) among men in developed countries. In the USA and the UK, for example, one in six men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime. Most prostate cancers develop in elderly men and, because these tumors usually grow relatively slowly, many men die with prostate cancer rather than as a result of it. Nevertheless, some prostate cancers are fast-growing and aggressive and prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men. The symptoms of prostate cancer include problems urinating and excessive urination during the night. Nowadays, however, most prostate cancers are detected before they produce any symptoms by measuring the amount of a protein called the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood.
Why Was This Study Done?
Widespread PSA screening was introduced 20 years ago in the hope that early detection of prostate cancer would save lives. But, although many more prostate cancers are detected nowadays, the number of prostate cancer deaths has not changed significantly. Experts are divided, therefore, about whether the potential benefits of PSA screening outweigh its risks. Treatments for prostate cancer (for example, surgical removal of the prostate) may be more effective if they are started early but they can cause impotence and urinary incontinence, so should men be treated whose cancer might otherwise never affect their health? In addition, receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer is stressful and there is growing evidence that stressful life events can increase an individual's risk of becoming ill or dying from a heart attack, stroke, or other “cardiovascular” events and of becoming mentally ill. In this study, therefore, the researchers investigate whether men diagnosed with prostate cancer in Sweden have increased risks of cardiovascular events and suicide during the first week and first year after their diagnosis.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified nearly 170, 000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1961 and 2004 among Swedish men aged 30 years or older by searching the Swedish Cancer Register. They obtained information on subsequent fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events and suicides from the Causes of Death Register and the Inpatient Register (in Sweden, everyone has a unique national registration number that facilitates searches of different health-related Registers). Before 1987, men with prostate cancer were about 11 times as likely to have a fatal cardiovascular event during the first week after their diagnosis as men without prostate cancer; during the first year after their diagnosis, men with prostate cancer were nearly twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event as men without prostate cancer (a relative risk of 1.9). From 1987, the relative risk of combined fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events associated with a diagnosis of prostate cancer was 2.8 during the first week and 1.3 during the first year after diagnosis. The relative risk of suicide associated with a diagnosis of prostate cancer was 8.4 during the first week and 2.6 during the first year after diagnosis throughout the study period. Finally, men younger than 54 years at diagnosis had higher relative risks of both cardiovascular events and suicide.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer have an increased risk of cardiovascular events and suicide. Because there is no information on tumor size or aggressiveness in the Cancer Register, the researchers could not look at the relationship between disease severity and the likelihood of a cardiovascular event or suicide. Furthermore, because of the study design, men who received a diagnosis of prostate cancer may have had additional characteristics in common that contributed to their increased risk of cardiovascular events and suicide. Nevertheless, these findings strongly suggest that the stress of the diagnosis itself rather than any subsequent treatment has deleterious effects on the health of men receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Thus, strategies should be developed to reduce the risks of cardiovascular events and suicide—increased clinical and psychological monitoring—after a diagnosis of prostate cancer, particularly among young men, and this new information should be considered in the ongoing debate about the risks and benefits of PSA screening.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000197.
The US National Cancer Institute provides information on all aspects of prostate cancer, (in English and Spanish)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides information on prostate cancer, including Prostate Cancer Screening, A Decision Guide (some information in multiple languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices Web site provides detailed information on prostate cancer
The UK-based Samaritans charity provides confidential nonjudgmental emotional support, 24 hours a day, for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide
Outside the UK, Befrienders provides information on help lines for those experiencing distress
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000197
PMCID: PMC2784954  PMID: 20016838
24.  The Role of SPINK1 in ETS Rearrangement Negative Prostate Cancers 
Cancer cell  2008;13(6):519-528.
Summary
ETS gene fusions have been characterized in a majority of prostate cancers, however the key molecular alterations in ETS negative cancers are unclear. Here we used an outlier meta-analysis (meta-COPA) to identify SPINK1 outlier-expression exclusively in a subset of ETS rearrangement negative cancers (~10% of total cases). We validated the mutual exclusivity of SPINK1 expression and ETS fusion status, demonstrated that SPINK1 outlier-expression can be detected non-invasively in urine and observed that SPINK1 outlier-expression is an independent predictor of biochemical recurrence after resection. We identified the aggressive 22RV1 cell line as a SPINK1 outlier-expression model, and demonstrate that SPINK1 knockdown in 22RV1 attenuates invasion, suggesting a functional role in ETS rearrangement negative prostate cancers.
doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2008.04.016
PMCID: PMC2732022  PMID: 18538735
25.  Testing a Multigene Signature of Prostate Cancer Death in the Swedish Watchful Waiting Cohort 
While prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer death, most men die with and not from their disease, underscoring the urgency to distinguish potentially lethal from indolent prostate cancer. We tested the prognostic value of a previously identified multigene signature of prostate cancer progression to predict cancer-specific death. The Örebro Watchful Waiting Cohort included 172 men with localized prostate cancer of whom 40 died of prostate cancer. We quantified protein expression of the markers in tumor tissue by immunohistochemistry, and stratified the cohort by quintiles according to risk classification. We accounted for clinical parameters (age, Gleason, nuclear grade, tumor volume) using Cox regression, and calculated Receiver Operator Curves to compare discriminatory ability. The hazard ratio of prostate cancer death increased with increasing risk classification by the multigene model, with a 16-fold greater risk comparing highest versus lowest risk strata, and predicted outcome independent of clinical factors (p=0.002). The best discrimination came from combining information from the multigene markers and clinical data, which perfectly classified the lowest risk stratum where no one developed lethal disease; using the two lowest risk groups as referent, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) was 11.3 (4.0–32.8) for the highest risk group and difference in mortality at 15 years was 60% (50–70%). The combined model provided greater discriminatory ability (AUC 0.78) than the clinical model alone (AUC 0.71), p=0.04. Molecular tumor markers can add to clinical parameters to help distinguish lethal and indolent prostate cancer, and hold promise to guide treatment decisions.
doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0044
PMCID: PMC2536630  PMID: 18583469

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