Telomerase expression in prostate cancer imprint smears of patients treated with radical prostatectomy

A. Bantis M.D. b, P. Athanassiadou M.D., MIACa, M. Gonidi M.D.a, Ath Kyriakidis M.D.b, A. Liossi M.D., MIACa, E. Petrakakou M.D.a, P. Athanassiades M.D.a, A. Giannopoulos M.D.b

a Pathology Laboratory, Cytology Department b Urology Clinic Laiko Hospital, Medical School University of Athens and Urology Clinic Hippocration Hospital, Athens, Greece.

AIM: Telomerase activity has been detected in a large variety of cancers and has appeared to be an indicator of poor prognosis in some of them. The aim of this study was to examine the telomerase expression in prostate cancer cells samples and to correlate this expression with prognostic markers. METHODS: Imprint smears, obtained from 70 prostate cancer patients ( mean age: 67) treated with radical prostatectomy, were studied for Telomerase expression using the in situ hybridization (ISH) procedure. Preoperative serum prostate specific antigen (PSA), postoperative Gleason score, TNM pathological stage and malignancy grade were determined as prognostic variables. RESULTS: Positive telomerase expression was found in 30 % well, 48 % moderately and 80 % poorly differentiated prostatic carcinomas. The percentages of telomerase expression increased with Gleason score 2-4 (29%), 5-6 (45%), >7 (63%).This expression was significantly correlated with pretreatment PSA value. PSA ng/ml, 0-4 (41%), 4-10(43%), >10 (60%). Statistically significant correlation between TNM stage and Telomerase expression was also observed: T2a 45%, T2b 40%, T2c 58%, T3a 62% and T4a 90% (p:0,001). Correlation was also observed between Telomerase expression and disease relapse. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, Telomerase positive expression appears to be important biomarker in prostate cancer and is associated with a significant predictor of outcome after radical prostatectomy.

Paper presented at the International Symposium on Predictive Oncology and Intervention Strategies; Paris, France; February 9 - 12, 2002; in the section on Prognostic Markers.