Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified ∼30 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) consistently associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk. To test the hypothesis that other sequence variants in the genome may interact with those 32 known PCa risk-associated SNPs identified from GWAS to affect PCa risk, we performed a systematic evaluation among three existing PCa GWAS populations: CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden population, a Johns Hopkins Hospital population, and the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility population, with a total sample size of 4723 PCa cases and 4792 control subjects. Meta-analysis of the interaction term between each of those 32 SNPs and SNPs in the genome was performed in three PCa GWAS populations. The most significant interaction detected was between rs12418451 in MYEOV and rs784411 in CEP152, with a Pinteraction of 1.15 × 10−7 in the meta-analysis. In addition, we emphasized two pairs of interactions with potential biological implication, including an interaction between rs7127900 near insulin-like growth factor-2 (IGF2)/IGF2AS and rs12628051 in TNRC6B, with a Pinteraction of 3.39 × 10−6 and an interaction between rs7679763 near TET2 and rs290258 in SYK, with a Pinteraction of 1.49 × 10−6. Those results show statistical evidence for novel loci interacting with known risk-associated SNPs to modify PCa risk. The interacting loci identified provide hints on the underlying molecular mechanism of the associations with PCa risk for the known risk-associated SNPs. Additional studies are warranted to further confirm the interaction effects detected in this study.
aggressiveness; germline; Genome Wide Association Studies; GWAS; inherited; linkage; mutation; single nucleotide polymorphisms; SNPs; susceptibility
High serum levels of macrophage inhibitory cytokine 1 (MIC-1) are strongly associated with metastatic prostate cancer, suggesting MIC-1 is a biomarker for prostate cancer prognosis.
We conducted a prospective cohort study of 1,442 Swedish men with a pathologically verified diagnosis of prostate cancer between 2001 and 2003. Blood was drawn either pretreatment (n = 431) or posttreatment (n = 1,011) and cases were followed for a mean time of 4.9 years (range, 0.1–6.8 years).
MIC-1 serum levels independently predicted poor cancer-specific survival with an almost 3-fold higher cancer death rate in patients with serum levels in the highest quartile compared with men with serum levels in the lowest quartile (adjusted hazard ratio, 2.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.82–4.68). Pretreatment MIC-1 levels revealed an even stronger association with disease outcome with an 8-fold higher death rate in the highest compared with the lowest category (adjusted hazard ratio, 7.98; 95% confidence interval, 1.73–36.86). Among patients considered to have localized disease, MIC-1 significantly increased the discriminative capacity between indolent and lethal prostate cancer compared with the established prognostic markers clinical stage, pathologic grade, and prostate-specific antigen level (P = 0.016). A sequence variant in the MIC-1 gene was associated with decreased MIC-1 serum levels (P = 0.002) and decreased prostate cancer mortality (P = 0.003), suggesting a causative role of MIC-1 in prostate cancer prognosis.
Serum MIC-1 concentration is a novel biomarker capable of predicting prostate cancer prognosis.
About 20% of all human cancers are caused by chronic infection or chronic inflammatory states. Recently, a new hypothesis has been proposed for prostate carcinogenesis. It proposes that exposure to environmental factors such as infectious agents and dietary carcinogens, and hormonal imbalances lead to injury of the prostate and to the development of chronic inflammation and regenerative ‘risk factor’ lesions, referred to as proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA). By developing new experimental animal models coupled with classical epidemiological studies, genetic epidemiological studies and molecular pathological approaches, we should be able to determine whether prostate cancer is driven by inflammation, and if so, to develop new strategies to prevent the disease.
Percentage of free-to-total prostate-specific antigen (%fPSA) is an independent predictor of risk for prostate cancer among men with modestly elevated level of total PSA (tPSA) in blood. Physiological and pathological factors have been shown to influence the %fPSA value and diagnostic accuracy.
To evaluate genetic determinants of %fPSA, we conducted a genome-wide association study of serum %fPSA by genotyping 642,584 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 3192 men of European ancestry, each with a tPSA level of 2.5 to 10 ng/ml, that were recruited in the REduction by DUtasteride of Prostate Cancer Events study. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with P < 10-5 were further evaluated among the controls of a population-based case-control study in Sweden (2899 prostate cancer cases and 1722 male controls), including 464 controls having tPSA levels of 2.5 to 10 ng/ml.
We identified two loci that were associated with %fPSA at a genome-wide significance level (P <5 x 10-8). The first associated SNP was rs3213764 (P = 6.45 x 10-10), a nonsynonymous variant (K530R) in the ATF7IP gene at 12p13. This variant was also nominally associated with tPSA (P = .015). The second locus was rs1354774 (P = 1.25 x 10-12), near KLK2 at 19q13, which was not associated with tPSA levels, and is separate from the rs17632542 locus at KLK3 that was previously associated with tPSA levels and prostate cancer risk. Neither rs3213764 nor rs1354774 was associated with prostate cancer risk or aggressiveness.
These findings demonstrate that genetic variants at ATF7IP and KLK2 contribute to the variance of %fPSA.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), representing a large proportion of non-coding transcripts across the human genome, are evolutionally conserved and biologically functional. At least one-third of the phenotype-related loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are mapped to non-coding intervals. However, the relationships between phenotype-related loci and lncRNAs are largely unknown. Utilizing the 1000 Genomes data, we compared single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the sequences of lncRNA and protein-coding genes as defined in the Ensembl database. We further annotated the phenotype-related SNPs reported by GWAS at lncRNA intervals. Because prostate cancer (PCa) risk-related loci were enriched in lncRNAs, we then performed meta-analysis of two existing GWAS for discovery and an additional sample set for replication, revealing PCa risk-related loci at lncRNA regions. The SNP density in regions of lncRNA was similar to that in protein-coding regions, but they were less polymorphic than surrounding regions. Among the 1998 phenotype-related SNPs identified by GWAS, 52 loci were located directly in lncRNA intervals with a 1.5-fold enrichment compared with the entire genome. More than a 5-fold enrichment was observed for eight PCa risk-related loci in lncRNA genes. We also identified a new PCa risk-related SNP rs3787016 in an lncRNA region at 19q13 (per allele odds ratio = 1.19; 95% confidence interval: 1.11–1.27) with P value of 7.22 × 10−7. lncRNAs may be important for interpreting and mining GWAS data. However, the catalog of lncRNAs needs to be better characterized in order to fully evaluate the relationship of phenotype-related loci with lncRNAs.
The molecular mechanisms for the GWAS-identified prostate cancer (PCa) risk-associated SNPs remain largely unexplained. One recent finding that the PCa risk SNPs are enriched in genomic regions containing androgen receptor (AR) binding sites has suggested altered AR signaling as a potentially important mechanism.
To explore novel associations by leveraging this knowledge, we utilized a meta-analysis previously performed over SNPs harbored in ChIP-on-chip identified AR binding genomic regions using the GWAS data from the Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) and the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) study, and subsequently evaluated the top associations in a third population from the CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden (CAPS) study.
One SNP (rs4919743: G>A), located at the KRT8 locus at 12q13.13 which encodes a keratin protein (K8) long used as a prostate epithelial malignancy marker and implicated in the tumorigenesis of several cancer types, was identified to be associated with PCa risk. The frequency of its minor “A” allele was consistently higher in PCa cases than in controls in all three study populations, with a combined odds ratio of 1.22 (95% CI: 1.13–1.32) and an overall P-value of 4.50 × 10−7 (Bonferroni-corrected P = 0.006).
We have identified a novel genetic locus that is associated with PCa risk.
This study illustrated the great potential of prior biological knowledge in facilitating the search for novel disease-associated genetic loci. This finding warrants further replication in other studies.
androgen receptor; GWAS; keratin 8; prostate cancer; SNPs
Analytically validated assays to interrogate biomarker status in clinical samples are crucial for personalized medicine. PTEN is a tumor suppressor commonly inactivated in prostate cancer that has been mechanistically linked to disease aggressiveness. Though deletion of PTEN, as detected by cumbersome fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) spot counting assays, is associated with poor prognosis, few studies have validated immunohistochemical (IHC) assays to determine whether loss of PTEN protein is associated with unfavorable disease.
PTEN IHC was validated by employing formalin fixed and paraffin embedded isogenic human cell lines containing or lacking intact PTEN alleles. PTEN IHC was 100% sensitive and 97.8% specific for detecting genomic alterations in 58 additional cell lines. PTEN protein loss was then assessed on 376 prostate tumor samples, and PTEN FISH or high resolution SNP microarray analysis was performed on a subset of these cases.
PTEN protein loss, as assessed as a dichotomous IHC variable, was highly reproducible, correlated strongly with adverse pathologic features (e.g. Gleason score and pathological stage), detected between 75% and 86% of cases with PTEN genomic loss, and was found at times in the absence of apparent genomic loss. In a cohort of 217 high risk surgically treated patients, PTEN protein loss was associated with decreased time to metastasis.
These studies validate a simple method to interrogate PTEN status in clinical specimens and support the utility of this test in future multi-center studies, clinical trials and ultimately perhaps for routine clinical care.
Prostatic adenocarcinoma; PTEN; immunohistochemistry; FISH
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men, accounting for over 30,000 deaths annually. The purpose of this study was to test whether variation in selected candidate genes in biological pathways of interest for prostate cancer progression could help distinguish patients at higher risk for fatal prostate cancer.
In this hypothesis-driven study, we genotyped 937 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 156 candidate genes in a population-based cohort of 1,309 prostate cancer patients. We identified 22 top-ranking SNPs (P ≤0.01, FDR ≤0.70) associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM). A subsequent validation study was completed in an independent population-based cohort of 2,875 prostate cancer patients.
Five SNPs were validated (P ≤0.05) as being significantly associated with PCSM, one each in the LEPR, CRY1, RNASEL, IL4, and ARVCF genes. Compared to patients with 0–2 of the at-risk genotypes those with 4–5 at-risk genotypes had a 50% (95% CI, 1.2–1.9) higher risk of PCSM and risk increased with the number of at-risk genotypes carried (Ptrend = 0.001), adjusting for clinicopathological factors known to influence prognosis.
Five genetic markers were validated to be associated with lethal prostate cancer.
This is the first population-based study to demonstrate that germline genetic variants provide prognostic information for prostate cancer-specific survival. The clinical utility of this five-SNP panel to stratify patients at higher risk for adverse outcomes should be evaluated.
Prostate cancer-specific mortality; survival; genetic variants; single nucleotide polymorphisms; hazard ratio
Alpha-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase (AMACR) is a metabolic enzyme whose over-expression has been shown to be a diagnostic indicator of prostatic adenocarcinoma as well as other solid tumors. Here we confirm that attenuation of AMACR expression diminishes the growth of prostate cancer cell lines using stably expressed shRNA constructs. This observation strongly suggests that the AMACR enzyme may be a target for therapeutic inhibition in prostate cancer. To this end, we report here a novel assay capable of screening libraries of diverse small molecules for inhibitors of AMACR activity. This assay facilitated the screening of approximately 5,000 unique compounds and the discovery of seven distinct chemical entities capable of inhibiting AMACR at low micromolar concentrations. The most potent inhibitor discovered is the seleno-organic compound ebselen oxide (IC50:0.80 μM). The parent compound, ebselen (IC50:2.79 μM), is a covalent inactivator of AMACR (KI(inact):24 μM). Two of the AMACR inhibitors appear selectively toxic to prostate cancer cell lines (LAPC4/LNCaP/PC3) that express AMACR compared to a normal prostate fibroblast cell line (WPMY1) that does not express the protein. This report demonstrates the first high-throughput screen for the discovery of novel AMACR inhibitors, characterizes the first non-substrate based inhibitors, and validates that AMACR is a viable chemotherapeutic target in-vitro.
High-Throughput; Inhibitor; AMACR; Prostate Cancer; Racemase; Screen; Assay; Imaging
Therapies for most malignancies are generally ineffective once metastasis occurs. While tumour cells migrate through tissues using diverse strategies, the signalling networks controlling such behaviours in human tumours are poorly understood. Here we define a role for the Diaphanous-related formin-3 (DIAPH3) as a non-canonical regulator of metastasis that restrains conversion to amoeboid cell behaviour in multiple cancer types. The DIAPH3 locus is close to RB1, within a narrow consensus region of deletion on chromosome 13q in prostate, breast and hepatocellular carcinomas. DIAPH3 silencing in human carcinoma cells destabilized microtubules and induced defective endocytic trafficking, endosomal accumulation of EGFR, and hyperactivation of EGFR/MEK/ERK signalling. Silencing also evoked amoeboid properties, increased invasion and promoted metastasis in mice. In human tumours, DIAPH3 down-regulation was associated with aggressive or metastatic disease. DIAPH3-silenced cells were sensitive to MEK inhibition, but showed reduced sensitivity to EGFR inhibition. These findings have implications for understanding mechanisms of metastasis, and suggest that identifying patients with chromosomal deletions at DIAPH3 may have prognostic value.
cytoskeleton; EGFR; endocytosis; mesenchymal-to-amoeboid transition; metastasis
Cytokines may play a role in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. A cytokine antibody array was previously applied to prostatic fluid obtained from patients with prostate cancer, and interleukin 18 binding protein (IL-18BP), a potent inhibitor of interleukin 18, was noted to be significantly upregulated in cases with large volume disease. We sought to further characterize the association of IL-18BP with prostate cancer and determine whether IL-18BP levels in patient serum and urine samples had clinical relevance. IL-18BP was expressed and secreted by the prostate cancer cell lines DU145 and PC3, but not by LNCaP and CWR22, upon interferon-γ (IFN-γ) stimulation. IFN-γ-induced secretion of IL-18BP was enhanced by added TNF-α, IFN-α and IFN-β. The IL-18BP secreted from DU145 and PC3 functionally inhibited IL-18. Immunohistochemical analyses showed positive IL-18BP staining in prostate cancer cells as well as in macrophages in radical prostatectomy specimens. Significant differences in urinary IL-18BP levels (normalized by total protein) collected post-DRE were found between cases with and without cancer on biopsy (P = 0.02) and serum IL-18BP levels correlated with Gleason score (P = 0.03). Our finding of elevated IL-18BP secretion from prostate cancer cells suggests an attempt by cancer to escape immune surveillance. IL-18BP merits further study as a marker of aggressive prostate cancer and as a therapeutic target.
Prostate cancer; IL-18 binding protein; urinary marker
The genetic determinants for aggressiveness of prostate cancer (PCa) are poorly understood. Copy-number variations (CNVs) are one of the major sources for genetic diversity and critically modulate cellular biology and human diseases. We hypothesized that CNVs may be associated with PCa aggressiveness. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a genome-wide common CNVs analysis in 448 aggressive and 500 nonaggressive PCa cases recruited from Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH1) using Affymetrix 6.0 arrays. Suggestive associations were further confirmed using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that tagged the CNVs of interest in an additional 2895 aggressive and 3094 nonaggressive cases, including those from the remaining case subjects of the JHH study (JHH2), the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) Study, and the CAncer of the Prostate in Sweden (CAPS) Study. We found that CNP2454, a 32.3 kb deletion polymorphism at 20p13, was significantly associated with aggressiveness of PCa in JHH1 [odds ratio (OR) = 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.68; P = 0.045]. The best-tagging SNP for CNP2454, rs2209313, was used to confirm this finding in both JHH1 (P = 0.045) and all confirmation study populations combined (P = 1.77 × 10−3). Pooled analysis using all 3353 aggressive and 3584 nonaggressive cases showed the T allele of rs2209313 was significantly associated with an increased risk of aggressive PCa (OR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.07–1.27; P = 2.75 × 10−4). Our results indicate that genetic variations at 20p13 may be responsible for the progression of PCa.
PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) functions as a major tumor suppressor gene and is frequently deleted in different types of tumors including prostate cancer (PCa). It was hypothesized that germ-line genetic changes of PTEN affect susceptibility to PCa. Both common (with a minor allele frequency ≥5%) and rare (with a minor allele frequency <5%) germ-line variants of PTEN were comprehensively evaluated. A total of 15 germ-line variants were identified by re-sequencing the PTEN gene, including 5′ untranslated region, all nine exons, exon-intron junctions and 3′ untranslated region, in 188 probands of hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) families recruited from Johns Hopkins Hospital. Two microsatellite markers surrounding PTEN were used to test the co-segregation of 10 rare variants, which may give rise to highly penetrant in HPC. Two common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were evaluated in the 188 HPC families using a family-based association study approach. To study low penetrant SNPs in PCa susceptibility, 33 SNPs covering PTEN were selected from the whole genome-wide association studies (GWAS) from our available case-control studies in Sweden (Cancer of the Prostate in Sweden (CAPS)) and the publicly available cancer genetic markers of susceptibility (CGEMS) study. Germ-line copy-number variations (CNVs) in PTEN were assessed in CAPS. Co-segregation of germ-line variants and PCa was not observed among HPC families and no significant differences in the allele frequencies were observed in sporadic cases and controls, aggressive and non-aggressive PCa (P >0.05). These results suggest that germ-line variants in PTEN do not have an important role in PCa susceptibility.
co-segregation; family-based association; population-based association; prostate cancer; PTEN; sequencing
The majority of established prostate cancer risk-associated Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) identified from genome-wide association studies do not fall into protein coding regions. Therefore, the mechanisms by which these SNPs affect prostate cancer risk remain unclear. Here, we used a series of bioinformatic tools and databases to provide possible molecular insights into the actions of risk SNPs.
We performed a comprehensive assessment of the potential functional impact of 33 SNPs that were identified and confirmed as associated with PCa risk in previous studies. For these 33 SNPs and additional SNPs in Linkage Disequilibrium (LD) (r2 ≥ 0.5), we first mapped them to genomic functional annotation databases, including the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE), eleven genomic regulatory elements databases defined by the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) table browser, and Androgen Receptor (AR) binding sites defined by a ChIP-chip technique. Enrichment analysis was then carried out to assess whether the risk SNP blocks were enriched in the various annotation sets. Risk SNP blocks were significantly enriched over that expected by chance in two annotation sets, including AR binding sites (p=0.003), and FoxA1 binding sites (p=0.05). About one third of the 33 risk SNP blocks are located within AR binding regions.
The significant enrichment of risk SNPs in AR binding sites may suggest a potential molecular mechanism for these SNPs in prostate cancer initiation, and provide guidance for future functional studies.
functional annotation; prostate cancer; bioinformatics; genome-wide association study
The role of TMPRSS2–ERG gene fusion in prostate cancer prognostication remains controversial. We evaluated the prognostic role of TMPRSS2–ERG fusion using fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis in a case–control study nested in The Johns Hopkins retropubic radical prostatectomy cohort. In all, 10 tissue microarrays containing paired tumors and normal tissues obtained from 172 cases (recurrence) and 172 controls (non-recurrence) matched on pathological grade, stage, race/ethnicity, and age at the time of surgery were analyzed. All radical prostatectomies were performed at our institution between 1993 and 2004. Recurrence was defined as biochemical recurrence, development of clinical evidence of metastasis, or death from prostate carcinoma. Each tissue microarray spot was scored for the presence of TMPRSS2–ERG gene fusion and for ERG gene copy number gains. The odds ratio of recurrence and 95% confidence intervals were estimated from conditional logistic regression. Although the percentage of cases with fusion was slightly lower in cases than in controls (50 vs 57%), the difference was not statistically significant (P=0.20). The presence of fusion due to either deletion or split event was not associated with recurrence. Similarly, the presence of duplicated ERG deletion, duplicated ERG split, or ERG gene copy number gain with a single ERG fusion was not associated with recurrence. ERG gene polysomy without fusion was significantly associated with recurrence (odds ratio 2.0, 95% confidence interval 1.17–3.42). In summary, TMPRSS2–ERG fusion was not prognostic for recurrence after retropubic radical prostatectomy for clinically localized prostate cancer, although men with ERG gene copy number gain without fusion were twice more likely to recur.
fluorescence in situ hybridization; nested case–control study; prognosis; prostate adenocarcinoma; TMPRSS2–ERG fusion
The diversity and complexity of the human androgen receptor (AR) splicing variants are well appreciated but not fully understood. The goal of this study is to generate a comprehensive expression signature of AR variants in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), and to address the relative importance of the individual variants in conferring the castration-resistant phenotype.
A modified RNA amplification method, termed selective linear amplification of sense RNA, was developed to amplify all AR transcripts containing AR exon 3 in CRPC specimens, which were profiled using tiling expression microarrays. Coding sequences for the AR variants were cloned into expression vectors and assessed for their transcriptional activities. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to determine their in vivo expression patterns in an expanded set of clinical specimens.
In addition to expression peaks in AR intron 3, a novel AR exon, termed exon 9, was discovered. Exon 9 was spliced into multiple novel AR variants. Different AR splicing variants were functionally distinctive, with some demonstrating constitutive activity while others were conditionally active. Conditionally active AR-Vs may activate AR signaling depending on the cellular context. Importantly, AR variant functions did not appear to depend on the full-length AR.
This study provided the first unbiased snapshot of the AR variant signature consisting of multiple AR variants with distinctive functional properties, directly in CRPC specimens. Study findings suggest that the aggregate function of multiple AR variants may confer a castration-resistant phenotype independent of the full-length AR.
tiling microarray; androgen receptor splicing variant; castration-resistant prostate cancer
Minute prostatic adenocarcinomas are considered to be of insufficient virulence. Given recent suggestions of TMPRSS2–ERG gene fusion association with aggressive prostatic adenocarcinoma, we evaluated the incidence of TMPRSS2–ERG fusion in minute prostatic adenocarcinomas. A total of 45 consecutive prostatectomies with minute adenocarcinoma were used for tissue microarray construction. A total of 63 consecutive non-minimal, Gleason Score 6 tumors, from a separate PSA Era prostatectomy tissue microarray, were used for comparison. FISH was carried out using ERG break-apart probes. Tumors were assessed for fusion by deletion (Edel) or split (Esplit), duplicated fusions and low-level copy number gain in normal ERG gene locus. Minute adenocarcinomas: Fusion was evaluable in 32/45 tumors (71%). Fifteen out of 32 (47%) tumors were positive for fusion. Six (19%) were of the Edel class and 7 (22%) were classified as combined Edel+Esplit. Non-minute adenocarcinomas (pT2): Fusion was identified in 20/30 tumors (67%). Four (13%) were of Edel class and 5 (17%) were combined Edel+Esplit. Duplicated fusions were encountered in 5 (16%) tumors. Non-minute adenocarcinomas (pT3): Fusion was identified in 19/33 (58%). Fusion was due to a deletion in 6 (18%) tumors. Seven tumors (21%) were classified as combined Edel+Esplit. One tumor showed Esplit alone. Duplicated fusions were encountered in 3 (9%) cases. The incidence of duplicated fusions was higher in non-minute adenocarcinomas (13 vs 0%; P=0.03). A trend for higher incidence of low-level copy number gain in normal ERG gene locus without fusion was noted in non-minute adenocarcinomas (10 vs 0%; P=0.07). We found a TMPRSS2–ERG fusion rate of 47% in minute adenocarcinomas. The latter is not significantly different from that of grade matched non-minute adenocarcinomas. The incidence of duplicated fusion was higher in non-minute adenocarcinomas. Our finding of comparable rate of TMPRSS2–ERG fusion in minute adenocarcinomas may argue against its value as a marker of aggressive prostate carcinoma phenotype.
minute prostatic adenocarcinoma; TMPRSS2–ERG fusion
Recent genome-wide association studies have been successful in identifying common sequence variants associated with prostate cancer risk; however, their importance in prostate cancer prognosis remains unknown. To assess confirmed prostate cancer susceptibility variants with prostate cancer prognosis, we genotyped 16 established susceptibility variants in a Swedish cohort of 2,875 prostate cancer cases, ascertained between 2001 and 2003, with complete follow-up regarding vital status through January 2008. Cox regression models, adjusted for age, clinical stage, pathologic grade, nodal or distant metastases, and diagnostic serum levels of prostate-specific antigen level, were used to assess association between risk variants and prostate cancer–specific survival. During follow-up, 626 men died, and of those, 440 had prostate cancer classified as their underlying cause of death. We found no association between any of the explored sequence variants and prostate cancer–specific mortality, either in exploring individual variants or in assessing the cumulative effect of all variants. We conclude that hitherto established prostate cancer susceptibility variants are not associated with the lethal potential of prostate cancer.
Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is widely used for prostate cancer screening but its levels are influenced by many non cancer-related factors. The goal of the study is to estimate the effect of genetic variants on PSA levels.
We evaluated the association of SNPs that were reported to be associated with prostate cancer risk in recent genome-wide association studies with plasma PSA levels in a Swedish study population, including 1,722 control subjects without a diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Of the 16 SNPs analyzed in control subjects, significant associations with PSA levels (P≤0.05) were found for six SNPs. These six SNPs had a cumulative effect on PSA levels; the mean PSA levels in men were almost twofold increased across increasing quintile of number of PSA associated alleles, P-trend=3.4×10−14. In this Swedish study population risk allele frequencies were similar among T1c case patients (cancer detected by elevated PSA levels alone) as compared to T2 and above prostate cancer case patients.
Results from this study may have two important clinical implications. The cumulative effect of six SNPs on PSA levels suggests genetic-specific PSA cutoff values may be used to improve the discriminatory performance of this test for prostate cancer; and the dual associations of these SNPs with PSA levels and prostate cancer risk raise a concern that some of reported prostate cancer risk-associated SNPs may be confounded by the prevalent use of PSA screening.
genetic; bias; KLK3
Prostate cancer (PCa) risk-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are continuously being discovered. Their ability to identify men at high risk and the impact of increasing numbers of SNPs on predictive performance are not well understood.
Absolute risk for PCa was estimated in a population-based case-control study in Sweden (2,899 cases and 1,722 controls) using family history and three sets of sequentially discovered PCa risk-associated SNPs. Their performance in predicting PCa was assessed by positive predictive values (PPV) and sensitivity.
SNPs and family history were able to differentiate individual risk for PCa and identify men at higher risk; ~18% and ~8% of men in the study had 20-year (55–74 years) absolute risks that were two-fold (0.24) or three-fold (0.36) greater than the population median risk (0.12), respectively. When predictive performances were compared at absolute risk cutoffs of 0.12, 0.24 or 0.36, PPV increased considerably (~20%, ~30% and ~37%, respectively) while sensitivity decreased considerably (~55%, ~20% and ~10%, respectively). In contrast, when increasing numbers of SNPs (5, 11 and 28 SNPs) were used in risk prediction, PPV approached a constant value while sensitivity increased steadily.
SNPs discovered to date are suitable for risk prediction while additional SNPs discovered in the future may identify more subjects at higher risk. Men identified as high-risk by SNP-based testing may be targeted for PCa screening or chemoprevention. The clinical impact on improving the effectiveness of these interventions can be and should be assessed.
Absolute risk; SNPs; association; screening; chemoprevention
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified multiple novel prostate cancer predisposition loci. Whether these common genetic variants are associated with incident metastatic prostate cancer or with recurrence after surgical treatment for clinically localized prostate cancer is uncertain.
Twelve SNPs were selected for study in relation to prostate metastatic cancer and recurrence, based on their genome-wide association with prostate cancer in the Cancer Genetic Markers of Susceptibility (CGEMS) (1, 2). To assess risk for metastatic disease, we compared genotypes for the 12 SNPs by logistic regression of 470 incident metastatic prostate cancer cases and 1945 controls in 3 case-control studies. To assess the relationship of these SNPs to risk for prostate cancer recurrence, we used Cox regression in a cohort of 1412 men treated for localized prostate cancer, including 328 recurrences, and used logistic regression in a case-case study, comparing 450 recurrent versus 450 nonrecurrent prostate cancer cases. Study-specific RRs for risk of metastatic disease and recurrence were summarized using meta-analysis, with inverse variance weights.
MSMB rs10993994 (per variant allele summary RR=1.24, 95% CI=1.05-1.48), 8q24 rs4242382 (RR=1.40, 95% CI=1.13-1.75) and 8q24 rs6983267 (RR=0.67, 95% CI=0.50-0.89) were associated with risk for metastatic prostate cancer. None of the 12 SNPs was associated with prostate cancer recurrence.
SNPs in MSMB and 8q24 which predispose to prostate cancer overall are associated with risk for metastatic prostate cancer, the most lethal form of this disease. SNPs predictive of prostate cancer recurrence were not identified, among the predisposition SNPs. GWAS specific to these two phenotypes may identify additional phenotype-specific genetic determinants.
Several recent papers have reported the presence of a gammaretrovirus, termed “XMRV” (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) in prostate cancers (PCa). If confirmed, this could have enormous implications for the detection, prevention, and treatment of PCa. However, other papers report failure to detect XMRV in PCa. We tested nearly 800 PCa samples, using a combination of real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The PCR reactions were simultaneously monitored for amplification of a single-copy human gene, in order to confirm the quality of the sample DNA and its suitability for PCR. Controls demonstrated that the PCR assay could detect the XMRV in a single infected cell, even in the presence of a 10,000-fold excess of uninfected human cells. The IHC used two rabbit polyclonal antisera, each prepared against a purified MLV protein. Both antisera always stained XMRV-infected or – transfected cells, but never stained control cells. No evidence for XMRV in PCa was obtained in these experiments. We discuss possible explanations for the discrepancies in the results from different laboratories. It is possible that XMRV is not actually circulating in the human population; even if it is, the data do not seem to support a causal role for this virus in PCa.
XMRV; prostate; tumors; PCR; immunohistochemistry
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have led to the discovery of multiple SNPs that are associated with prostate cancer (PCa) risk. These SNPs may potentially be used for risk prediction. To date, there is not a stable estimate of their effect on PCa risk and their contribution to the genetic variation both of which are important for future risk prediction.
A literature review was conducted to identify SNPs associated with PCa risk with the following criteria: (1) GWAS in the Caucasian population; (2) SNPs with p-value < 1.0×10−6; and (3) one SNP from each independent LD block. A meta-analysis was performed to estimate combined odds ratio (OR) and its 95% confidence interval (CI) for the identified SNPs. The proportion of total genetic variance that is attributable by each of these SNPs was also estimated.
Thirty PCa risk-associated SNPs were identified. These SNPs had OR estimates between 1.12 – 1.47 except for marker rs16901979 (OR = 1.80). Significant heterogeneity in OR estimates was found among different studies for 13 SNPs. The proportion of total genetic variance attributed by each SNP ranged between 0.2% – 0.9%. These 30 SNPs explained ~13 .5% of the total genetic variance of PCa risk in the Caucasian population.
This study provides more stable OR estimates for PCa risk-associated SNPs, which is an important baseline for the effect of these SNPs in risk prediction. These SNPs explain a considerable proportion of genetic variance, however, the majority of genetic variance has yet to be explained.
PCa; GWAS; meta-analysis; heterogeneity; genetic variation
Multiple SNPs at 17q12 and 17q24.3 were recently identified to be associated with prostate cancer risk using a genome-wide association study. Although these associations reached genome-wide significance level in a combined analysis of several study populations of European descent in the original report, confirmation in independent populations, including African Americans (AA), is critical to increase confidence that they represent true disease associations and whether the results can be generalized. Therefore, we evaluated these 7 SNPs in two populations recruited from Johns Hopkins Hospital, including European Americans (EA) (1,563 cases and 576 controls) and AA (364 cases and 353 controls). Each of the previously reported risk alleles of these 7 SNPs were more common in cases than in controls among EA and AA. The differences were highly significant in EA (P = 10−4) and marginally significant in AA (P = 0.04) for 17q12SNPs. In contrast, the differences were not statistically significant in EA or AA for SNPs at 17q24.3, but were marginally significant for two SNPs (P = 0.04 - 0.06) when subjects from EA and AA were combined. Similar results were obtained for genotype and haplotype frequencies. These risk variants were not associated with aggressiveness of prostate cancer or other clinical variables such as TNM stage, pre-operative PSA, or age at diagnosis. Our results provide the first confirmation of these novel prostate loci and the first demonstration that these two loci may also play roles in prostate cancer risk among AA.
prostate cancer; association; risk; 17q12; 17q24.3