Aims: The association between the expression of androgen receptor (AR) or androgen-converting enzymes and malignant potential in prostate cancer (PCa) was examined.
Methods: PCa specimens from 44 cases of stage II, 10 cases of stage III, 4 cases of stage IV, and 2 recurrent cases were semi-quantitatively studied with immunohistochemistry for AR and androgen-converting enzymes.
Results: The expression score of AR, 5α-reductase type 1 (SRD5A1), 5α-reductase type 2 (SRD5A2), and aldo-keto reductase family 1 member C3 (AKR1C3) in the metastatic lesion of stage IV or recurrent cancer (n = 6) was significantly higher than stage II and III cancer (n = 54) (p<0.001, p<0.001, p = 0.002, and p = 0.018, respectively). The expression score of AR and SRD5A1 in stage II and III cancer with Gleason score 7 (n = 19) was significantly higher than that with ≤6 (n = 20) (p = 0.032 and p = 0.002, respectively), and the expression score of AR, SRD5A1, and AKR1C3 in stage II and III cancer with primary Gleason pattern ≥4 (n = 21) was significantly higher than that with ≤3 (n = 33) (p = 0.011, p = 0.026, and p = 0.034, respectively). Within Gleason score 9 cancer, the expression score of AR and SRD5A1 in the primary lesion of stage IV (n = 3) was significantly higher than stage II and III (n = 7) (p = 0.027 and p = 0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: Both AR and androgen-converting enzymes were upregulated in the high-grade or advanced PCa.
- Gleason score
- androgen receptor
- androgen-converting enzymes
- biological aggressiveness
- prostate cancer