Detection of c-myc oncogene amplification and chromosomal anomalies in metastatic prostatic carcinoma by fluorescence in Situ hybridization

Robert B. Jenkins, Junqi Qian, Michael M. Lieber, David G. Bostwick

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The role of c-myc in prostatic carcinogenesis is poorly understood. The pathogenetic relationship between high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), prostatic carcinoma, and metastases is not well-defined. We used fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with a region-specific probe for c-myc (band 8q24) and chromosome enumeration probes for chromosomes 7, 8, 10, 12 and Y to evaluate genetic changes in matched PIN (48 foci), localized prostatic carcinoma (71 foci), and lymph node metastases (23 foci), in 25 totally embedded whole-mount stage D1 (T2-3N1-3M0) radical prostatectomy and pelvic lymphadenectomy specimens. The c-myc protein expression in these lesions was evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Foci with extra copies of c-myc could be divided into three groups: (a) those with simple gain of a whole chromosome 8 (no increase in c-myc copy number relative to the chromosome 8 centromere), which was identified in 42, 25, and 46% of foci of PIN, carcinoma, and metastases, respectively; (b) those with an intermediate increase in c-myc copy number relative to the chromosome 8 centromere, which was found in 8, 11, and 25% of foci of PIN, carcinoma, and metastases, respectively; and (c) those with substantial amplification of c- myc (large increases in c-myc copy number relative to the chromosome 8 centromere), which was detected in 0, 8, and 21% of foci of PIN, carcinoma, and metastases, respectively. Substantial amplification of c-myc was strongly correlated with increasing cancer nuclear grade and immunohistochemical evidence of c-myc protein overexpression. Numeric chromosomal anomalies were found in 67, 68, and 96% of foci PIN, carcinoma, and metastases, respectively. The most frequent anomaly in PIN and carcinoma was a gain of chromosome 8, and the presence of this anomaly strongly correlated with Gleason score. Carcinoma foci usually contained more FISH anomalies than paired PIN foci, but three prostates contained one or more PIN foci with more anomalies than carcinoma. Thirteen primary tumor foci exhibited intratumor genetic heterogeneity by FISH. One or more foci of the primary tumor usually shared FISH anomalies with the matched metastases. Our FISH results indicate that: (a) gain of chromosome 8 and amplification of c-myc are potential markers of prostate carcinoma progression; (b) PIN is likely a precursor of carcinoma; (c) intraglandular and intratumoral genetic heterogeneity is relatively common; and (d) usually a single focus of cancer gives rise to metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)524-531
Number of pages8
JournalCancer research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 27 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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