NY-ESO-1 expression is tightly linked to TMPRSS2–ERG fusion in prostate cancer

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Abstract

BACKGROUND.

NY-ESO-1 has been suggested as therapeutic cancer vaccine in prostate cancer. This study was undertaken to explore the relationship of NY-ESO-1 with tumor phenotype, biochemical recurrence, and molecular subgroups in hormone-naive prostate cancers.

METHODS.

NY-ESO-1 immunohistochemistry was analyzed on a tissue microarray containing 11,152 prostate cancer samples. Results were compared to clinically follow-up data, ERG status, and deletions on PTEN, 3p13, 5q21, and 6q15.

RESULTS.

NY-ESO-1 expression was absent in benign prostate glands. In prostate cancer, NY-ESO-1 positivity was found 8.8% of our 8,761 interpretable tumors including 5.8% with weak, 2.5% with moderate, and 0.5% with strong expression. There was a threefold higher rate of NY-ESO-1 expression in ERG fusion positive tumors than in ERG negative cancers (P < 0.0001). There was a significant association with early PSA recurrence, which was largely limited to ERG positive cancers. Within the ERG positive subgroup, high NY-ESO-1 expression was associated with early biochemical recurrence (P = 0.0002) and high Gleason grade (P < 0.0001). In ERG negative cancers, NY-ESO-1 expression was also linked to PTEN (P = 0.0012) and 6q15 deletions (P = 0.0005).

CONCLUSIONS.

Our observations indicate a tight link of NY-ESO-1 expression to ERG activation and (to a lesser extent) PTEN- and 6q15-deletions in prostate cancer. The impact of these interactions on the likelihood of response to immunotherapy is unclear. The prognostic impact of NY-ESO-1 expression is little and not independent of histologic variables. Prostate 74:1012–1022, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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