TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusion associated with lethal prostate cancer in a watchful waiting cohort.

The identification of the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion in prostate cancer suggests that distinct molecular subtypes may define risk for disease progression. In surgical series, TMPRSS2:ERG fusion was identified in 50% of the tumors. Here, we report on a population-based cohort of men with localized prostate cancers followed by expectant (watchful waiting) therapy with 15% (17/111) TMPRSS2:ERG fusion. We identified a statistically significant association between TMPRSS2:ERG fusion and prostate cancer specific death (cumulative incidence ratio=2.7, P<0.01, 95% confidence interval=1.3-5.8). Quantitative reverse-transcription-polymerase chain reaction demonstrated high ets-related [corrected] gene (ERG) expression to be associated with TMPRSS2:ERG fusion (P<0.005). These data suggest that TMPRSS2:ERG fusion prostate cancers may have a more aggressive phenotype, possibly mediated through increased ERG expression.

Adami HO, Andersson SO, Andrén O, Chinnaiyan AM, Demichelis F, Fall K, Hoshida Y, Johansson JE, Kantoff PW, Lee C, Mosquera JM, Mucci LA, Pawitan Y, Perner S, Rubin MA, Schmidt F, Setlur SR


Oncogene, 2007, 26 (31)

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