• prostate cancer;
  • prognostic indicator;
  • hyaluronic acid;
  • hyaluronidase;
  • HYAL-1;
  • CD44v6;
  • microvessel density


Despite the development of nomograms designed to evaluate a prostate cancer (PCa) patient's prognosis, the information has been limited to PSA, clinical stage, Gleason score and tumor volume estimates. We compared the prognostic potential of 4 histologic markers, hyaluronic acid (HA), HYAL-1-type hyaluronidase (HAase), CD44v6 and microvessel density (MVD) using immunohistochemistry. HA is a glycosaminoglycan that promotes tumor metastasis. CD44 glycoproteins serve as cell surface receptors for HA, and the CD44v6 isoform is associated with tumor metastasis. HYAL-1-type HAase is expressed in tumor cells and, like other HAases, degrades HA into angiogenic fragments. Archival PCa specimens (n = 66) were obtained from patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for clinically localized PCa and had a minimum follow-up of 72 months (range 72–131 months, mean 103 months). For HA, HYAL-1 and CD44v6 staining and MVD determination, a biotinylated HA-binding protein, an anti-HYAL-1 IgG, an anti-CD44v6 IgG and an anti-CD34 IgG were used, respectively. HA and HYAL-1 staining was classified as either low- or high-grade. CD44v6 staining and MVD were evaluated quantitatively and then grouped as either low- or high-grade. Using 72 months as the cut-off limit for evaluating biochemical recurrence, HA, HYAL-1, combined HA–HYAL-1, CD44v6 and MVD staining predicted progression with 96%, 84%, 84%, 68% and 76% sensitivity, respectively. Specificity was, 61% (HA), 80.5% (HYAL-1), 87.8% (HA–HYAL-1), 56.1% (CD44v6) and 61% (MVD). Sensitivity and specificity values for each marker did not change significantly in a subset of 45 patients for whom follow-up of longer than 112 months was available. In univariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model, preoperative PSA, Gleason sum, margin status, seminal vesicle, extraprostatic extension (EPE), HA, HYAL-1, HA–HYAL-1 and MVD, but not CD44v6, age and clinical stage, were significant in predicting biochemical recurrence (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis using stepwise selection, only preoperative PSA (hazard ratio/unit PSA change = 1.086, p < 0.0001), EPE (hazard ratio = 6.22, p = 0.0016) and HYAL-1 (hazard ratio = 8.196, p = 0.0009)/HA–HYAL-1 (hazard ratio = 5.191, p = 0.0021) were independent predictors of biochemical recurrence. HA was an independent predictor of prognosis if HYAL-1 staining inference was not included in the multivariate model. In our retrospective study with 72- to 131-month follow-up, EPE, preoperative PSA and HYAL-1 either alone or together with HA (i.e., combined HA–HYAL-1) were independent prognostic indicators for PCa. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.