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No AccessJournal of UrologyAdult Urology1 Aug 2019

African American Specific Gene Panel Predictive of Poor Prostate Cancer Outcome

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Most prostate cancer in African American men lacks the ETS (E26 transforming specific) family fusion event (ETS–). We aimed to establish clinically relevant biomarkers in African American men by studying ETS dependent gene expression patterns to identified race specific genes predictive of outcomes.

Materials and Methods:

Two multicenter cohorts of a total of 1,427 men were used for the discovery and validation (635 and 792 men, respectively) of race specific predictive biomarkers. We used false discovery rate adjusted q values to identify race and ETS dependent genes which were differentially expressed in African American men who experienced biochemical recurrence within 5 years. Principal component modeling along with survival analysis was done to assess the accuracy of the gene panel in predicting recurrence.


We identified 3,047 genes which were differentially expressed based on ETS status. Of these genes 362 were differentially expressed in a race specific manner (false discovery rate 0.025 or less). A total of 81 genes were race specific and over expressed in African American men who experienced biochemical recurrence. The final gene panel included APOD, BCL6, EMP1, MYADM, SRGN and TIMP3. These genes were associated with 5-year biochemical recurrence (HR 1.97, 95% CI 1.27–3.06, p = 0.002) and they improved the predictive accuracy of clinicopathological variables only in African American men (60-month time dependent AUC 0.72).


In an effort to elucidate biological features associated with prostate cancer aggressiveness in African American men we identified ETS dependent biomarkers predicting early onset biochemical recurrence only in African American men. Thus, these ETS dependent biomarkers representing ideal candidates for biomarkers of aggressive disease in this patient population.


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The corresponding author certifies that, when applicable, a statement(s) has been included in the manuscript documenting institutional review board, ethics committee or ethical review board study approval; principles of Helsinki Declaration were followed in lieu of formal ethics committee approval; institutional animal care and use committee approval; all human subjects provided written informed consent with guarantees of confidentiality; IRB approved protocol number; animal approved project number.

Supported by the Prostate Cancer Foundation Young Investigator Award (KY), American Cancer Society Grant MRSG-17-108-01-TBG (KY), the V Foundation (KY, JYP) and the NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center P30 CA076292 Grant (Moffitt Cancer Center).

No direct or indirect commercial, personal, academic, political, religious or ethical incentive is associated with publishing this article.