AROMATASE: A NEW BIOMARKER FOR THE DETECTION AND PROGNOSIS OF PROSTATE CARCINOMA.
Androgens play a central role in the biology of the prostate. However, estrogen signaling also modulate prostatic growth and development. Estrogen effects are mediated by two estrogen receptors. ERβ is expressed in the prostate epithelium, whereas ERα is mostly restricted to stroma. Growing evidences show ERα may have carcinogenic effects, whereas ERβ may have anticancer properties. However, data concerning the expression of aromatase in the human prostate, including its potential utility as a diagnostic tool for prostate carcinoma has been largely conflicting.
A total of 222 cases including 150 cases of prostate carcinoma and 72 cases of benign prostate (radical prostatectomies: 122; prostate biopsies: 70 cases; TURP: 30 cases) were examined by immunohistochemistry for aromatase-specific antibody.
Aromatase presented strong positivity in the cytoplasm of basal cells. The amount of cells immunoreactive to aromatase was greatly decreased in HGPIN, being completely undetectable in areas of adenocarcinoma. The loss of aromatase in areas of HGPIN and adenocarcinoma parallel those of the well-known ERβ silencing during prostate cancer progression.
Aromatase was restricted to benign tissue, being gradually lost in premalignant and malignant epithelium, thus being a candidate biomarker to help in diagnosis and prediction of prostate
Paulo Guilherme O. Salles, Monica Morais Santos, Augusto B Reis, Cleida A Oliveira