Few successful therapeutic options exist for men who present with metastatic prostate cancer (CaP) or for the 30% with recurrence. The development and characterization of molecular markers are vital to the development of prognostic and therapeutic modalities in CaP. We investigated the expression and potential clinical usefulness of prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) in CaP using tissue microarrays.

Materials and Methods:

Immunohistochemical analysis using a PSCA monoclonal antibody was performed on tissue microarrays constructed from paraffin embedded specimens from 246 patients who underwent radical retropubic prostatectomy. PSCA staining was correlated with established prognostic factors, such as Gleason score, prostate specific antigen (PSA), and seminal vesicle invasion. In addition, recurrence-free survival was analyzed.


A high PSCA intensity of 3 was associated with adverse prognostic features, such as Gleason score 7 and above (p = 0.001), seminal vesicle invasion (p = 0.005) and capsular involvement (p = 0.033). On univariate analysis tumors with a PSCA intensity of 3 carried an increased risk of PSA recurrence (p = 0.031, HR 1.77, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.96). However, after adjusting for these variables a PSCA intensity of 3 was no longer an independent predictor of PSA recurrence.


We found that high PSCA intensity is significantly associated with adverse prognostic features such as high Gleason score and extra-organ disease. The results of this study suggest that PSCA is a promising tumor marker for the selection of patients at high risk but additional studies are necessary to assess the usefulness of PSCA in patient biopsies.


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From the Departments of Urology (K-RH, RER), Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (DBS, PIS, GVT, JWS), Human Genetics and Biostatistics (XL, SH), University of California-Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California