Association of TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion with clinical characteristics and outcomes: results from a population-based study of prostate cancerReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Cancer

, 8:230

First Online: 11 August 2008Received: 19 May 2008Accepted: 11 August 2008DOI: 10.1186-1471-2407-8-230

Cite this article as: FitzGerald, L.M., Agalliu, I., Johnson, K. et al. BMC Cancer 2008 8: 230. doi:10.1186-1471-2407-8-230


BackgroundThe presence of the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion gene in prostate tumors has recently been associated with an aggressive phenotype, as well as recurrence and death from prostate cancer. These associations suggest the hypothesis that the gene fusion may be used as a prognostic indicator for prostate cancer.

MethodsIn this study, fluorescent in situ hybridization FISH assays were used to assess TMPRSS2-ERG fusion status in a group of 214 prostate cancer cases from two population-based studies. The FISH assays were designed to detect both fusion type deletion vs. translocation and the number of fusion copies single vs. multiple. Genotyping of four ERG and one TMPRSS2 SNPs using germline DNA was also performed in a sample of the cases n = 127.

ResultsOf the 214 tumors scored for the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion, 64.5% were negative and 35.5% were positive for the fusion. Cases with the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion did not exhibit reduced prostate cancer survival HR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.22–3.93, nor was there a significant difference in cause-specific survival when stratifying by translocation or deletion HR = 0.84, 95% CI = 0.23–3.12 or by the number of retained fusion copies HR = 1.22, 95% CI = 0.45–3.34. However, evidence for reduced prostate cancer-specific survival was apparent in those cases whose tumor had multiple copies of the fusion. The variant T allele of the TMPRSS2 SNP, rs12329760, was positively associated with TMPRSS2-ERG fusion by translocation p = 0.05 and with multiple copies of the gene fusion p = 0.03.

ConclusionIf replicated, the results presented here may provide insight into the mechanism by which the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion arises and also contribute to diagnostic evaluations for determining the subset of men who will go on to develop metastatic prostate cancer.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2407-8-230 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Liesel M FitzGerald - Ilir Agalliu - Karynn Johnson - Melinda A Miller - Erika M Kwon - Antonio Hurtado-Coll - Ladan Faz


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