To characterize the changes in the expression of Aurora-A protein in prostate cancer before and after androgen-withdrawal therapy, and to assess the prognostic significance of the Aurora-A expression in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP) after neoadjuvant hormonal therapy (NHT).
PATIENTS AND METHODS
The study included 97 patients with clinically localized prostate cancer who received NHT followed by RP. Paired needle biopsy and corresponding RP specimens obtained from these patients were analysed for the expression of Aurora-A protein by immunohistochemical staining. These findings were then evaluated in relation to several clinicopathological factors.
There were various levels of Aurora-A protein expression in most prostate cancer tissues before NHT; however, the Aurora-A expression in RP specimens after NHT was significantly down-regulated compared with that in corresponding needle-biopsy specimens. The expression level of Aurora-A in biopsy specimens was significantly associated with the biopsy Gleason score, but not with other factors available before RP. The Aurora-A expression in the RP specimens correlated significantly with the preoperative value of the serum prostate specific antigen and pathological stage, but not with any other clinicopathological factors examined. Furthermore, cell proliferative activity in the RP specimens, measured by Ki-67 immunostaining, was proportional to the expression of Aurora-A. The biochemical recurrence-free survival in patients with a persistent Aurora-A expression in RP specimens was significantly lower than that in those with a weak Aurora-A expression, but the expression level of Aurora-A was not an independent predictor of biochemical recurrence.
Despite the lack of any independent significance, the expression level of Aurora-A in prostate cancer tissue after NHT, which might inversely reflect the therapeutic effect of NHT, could therefore be a useful variable for predicting biochemical recurrence in patients undergoing RP.