Aims: Pim-1 is a serine/threonine kinase that has been shown to play an integral role in the development of a number of human cancers, such as haematolymphoid malignancies. Recently, evidence has shown Pim-1 to be important in prostatic carcinogenesis. In order to further our understanding of its role in prostate cancer, we investigated Pim-1 expression in normal, premalignant, and malignant prostate tissue.
Methods: Using immunohistochemistry, Pim-1 expression was analysed in prostate tissue from 120 radical prostatectomy specimens. In each case, Pim-1 staining was evaluated in benign prostatic epithelium, high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), and prostatic adenocarcinoma. The number of positively staining cells was estimated, and the intensity of staining was scored on a scale of 0 to 3+.
Results: Pim-1 immunoreactivity was identified in 120 cases (100%) of adenocarcinoma, 120 cases (100%) of high grade PIN, and 62 cases (52%) of benign glands. The number of cells staining in benign epithelium (mean 34%) was much lower than that in high grade PIN (mean 80%; p<0.0001) or adenocarcinoma (mean, 84%; p<0.0001). There was no significant difference between high grade PIN and adenocarcinoma in the percentage of cells staining positively for Pim-1 (p = 0.34). The staining intensity for Pim-1 was significantly lower in benign prostatic epithelium than in PIN and adenocarcinoma (p<0.001). There was no statistically significant correlation between the level of Pim-1 expression and Gleason score, patient age, tumour stage, lymph node metastasis, perineural invasion, vascular invasion, surgical margin status, extraprostatic extension, or seminal vesicle invasion.
Conclusions: Pim-1 expression is elevated in PIN and prostatic adenocarcinoma compared with benign prostatic epithelium. This finding suggests that upregulation of Pim-1 may play a role in prostatic neoplasia.
- PIN, prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia
- prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia
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