Prostate-specific membrane antigen expression as a predictor of prostate cancer progression

Sven Perner, Matthias D. Hofer, Robert Kim, Rajal B. Shah, Haojie Li, Peter Möller, Richard E. Hautmann, Juergen E. Gschwend, Rainer Kuefer, Mark A. Rubin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

346 Scopus citations


Distinguishing aggressive prostate cancer from indolent disease represents an important clinical challenge, because current therapy may lead to overtreatment of men with limited disease. The prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a membrane-bound glycoprotein that is highly restricted to the prostate. Previously, studies analyzing the expression of PSMA have found an up-regulation in correlation with prostate cancer, particularly in advanced cancer. This association is ideal for an application as a prognostic marker. In the current study, we characterized PSMA expression in a high-risk cohort and evaluated its potential use as predictive marker of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence. PSMA expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry using tissue microarrays composed of tumor samples from 450 patients. Protein intensity was recorded using a semiautomated quantitative microscope system (ACIS II; Clarient Chromavision Medical Systems, San Juan Capistrano, CA). PSMA expression levels differed significantly (P < .001) between benign prostatic tissue, localized prostate cancer, and lymph node metastases. Dividing the cohort into high- and low-PSMA expressing cancers based on the median area of positive staining, we found that high PSMA levels were associated with significant increase of PSA recurrence (P = .004). This was independent of clinical parameters such as lymph node tumor burden (lymph node density, >20%; P < .001), extraprostatic extension (P = .017), seminal vesicle invasion (P < .001), and high Gleason score (8-10, P = .006). In a multivariate model, PSMA expression and metastases to pelvic lymph nodes were significantly associated with time to PSA recurrence (HR, 1.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1-2.8, P = .017; and hazard ratio, 5; 95% confidence interval, 2.6-9.7, P < .001, respectively). In summary, PSMA is independently associated with PSA recurrence in a high-risk cohort and thus might provide insight into the additional use of adjuvant therapy. Validation on other cohorts is required.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-701
Number of pages6
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2007


  • PSMA
  • Progression
  • Prostate cancer
  • Tissue microarray (TMA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Prostate-specific membrane antigen expression as a predictor of prostate cancer progression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this