Genomic analysis of prostate carcinoma specimens obtained via ultrasound-guided needle biopsy may be of use in preoperative decision-making




The widespread use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing to screen for prostate carcinoma has led to significant overdiagnosis, due to the frequent detection of indolent malignancies on PSA screening. The detection of abnormal PSA levels typically is followed by ultrasound-guided needle biopsy. Therefore, in an effort to identify genetic markers that augment the information provided by standard histopathologic classification, the authors tested the feasibility of using these minute biopsy samples for genomic profiling via chromosome banding analysis and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH).


Ultrasound-guided needle biopsy specimens obtained preoperatively from 35 patients with prostate carcinoma were analyzed via chromosome banding analysis (after short-term culturing) and CGH. The findings of these analyses then were analyzed for potential correlations with clinicopathologic parameters.


Chromosome banding analysis and CGH were possible in 34 and 33 of the 35 study specimens, respectively. Combined analysis revealed aberrations in 69% of all samples investigated. Copy number losses occurred most commonly at 8p (58% of all abnormal specimens), 16q (42%), and 13q (37%), whereas the only gains detected in more than 1 specimen were those that occurred at 8q (37%). Genomic imbalances and losses at 16q were significantly associated with more poorly differentiated subtypes of prostate carcinoma (P = 0.048 and P = 0.019, respectively), whereas gains at 8q and losses at 16q were significantly correlated with clinically advanced disease (P = 0.048 for the finding of a gain at 8q together with a loss at 16q; P = 0.01 for the finding of either aberration alone).


The authors conclude that genomic analysis of suspected prostate carcinoma specimens obtained via ultrasound-guided needle biopsy is feasible. Thus, it may be possible to use genetic markers to obtain diagnostic and/or prognostic information that is useful in the making of preoperative decisions regarding prostate carcinoma management. Cancer 2004. © 2004 American Cancer Society.