Racial Variations in Prostate Cancer Molecular Subtypes and Androgen Receptor Signaling Reflect Anatomic Tumor Location

Farzana A. Faisal*, Debasish Sundi, Jeffrey J. Tosoian, Voleak Choeurng, Mohammed Alshalalfa, Ashley E. Ross, Eric Klein, Robert Den, Adam Dicker, Nicholas Erho, Elai Davicioni, Tamara L. Lotan, Edward M. Schaeffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Prostate cancer (PCa) subtypes based on ETS gene expression have been described. Recent studies suggest there are racial differences in tumor location, with PCa located anteriorly more often among African-American (AA) compared to Caucasian-American (CA) men. In this retrospective analysis of a multi-institutional cohort treated by radical prostatectomy (179 CA, 121 AA), we evaluated associations among molecular subtype, race, anatomic tumor location, and androgen receptor (AR) signaling. Subtype (m-ERG+, m-ETS+, m-SPINK1+, or triple-negative) was determined using distribution-based outlier analysis. AR signaling was investigated using gene expression profiling of canonical AR targets. m-ERG+ was more common in CA than AA men (47% vs 22%, p < 0.001). AA men were more likely to be m-SPINK1+ (13% vs 7%; p = 0.069) and triple-negative (50% vs 37%; p = 0.043). Racial differences in molecular subtypes did not persist when tumors were analyzed by location, suggesting a biologically important relationship between tumor location and subtype. Accordingly, anterior tumor location was associated with higher Decipher scores and lower global AR signaling. Patient summary This study demonstrates associations among patient race, prostate cancer molecular subtypes, and tumor location. Location-specific differences in androgen regulation may further underlie these relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-17
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean urology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • African-American
  • ETS gene fusion
  • Molecular subtype
  • Prostatic neoplasm
  • Race
  • SPINK1
  • TMPRSS2-ERG fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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