Characterization of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and potential clinical implications.


More than 1,300,000 prostate needle biopsies are done annually in the United States with up to 16% incidence of isolated high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN). HGPIN has low predictive value for identifying prostate cancer on subsequent needle biopsies in prostate-specific antigen-screened populations. In contemporary series, prostate cancer is detected in approximately 20% of repeat biopsies following a diagnosis of HGPIN. Further, discrete histologic subtypes of HGPIN with clinical implication in management have not been characterized. The TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion that has recently been described in prostate cancer has also been shown to occur in a subset of HGPIN. This may have significant clinical implications given that TMPRSS2-ERG fusion prostate cancer is associated with a more aggressive clinical course.

In this study, we assessed a series of HGPIN lesions and paired prostate cancer for the presence of TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion.

Fusion-positive HGPIN was observed in 16% of the 143 number of lesions, and in all instances, the matching cancer shared the same fusion pattern. Sixty percent of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion prostate cancer had fusion-negative HGPIN.

Given the more aggressive nature of TMPRSS2-ERG prostate cancer, the findings of this study raise the possibility that gene fusion-positive HGPIN lesions are harbingers of more aggressive disease. To date, pathologic, molecular, and clinical variables do not help stratify which men with HGPIN are at increased risk for a cancer diagnosis. Our results suggest that the detection of isolated TMPRSS2-ERG fusion HGPIN would improve the positive predictive value of finding TMPRSS2-ERG fusion prostate cancer in subsequent biopsies.

  • Ayala G
  • Bismar TA
  • Genega EM
  • Hofer MD
  • Loda M
  • Mertz KD
  • Mosquera JM
  • Paris PL
  • Perner S
  • Rubin MA
  • Sanda M
  • Shah RB
  • Simko J
PubMed ID
Appears In
Clin Cancer Res, 2008, 14 (11)