Dimensional study of prostate cancer using stereological tools

This article was originally published here

J Anat. 2021 Aug 5. doi: 10.1111/joa.13524. Online ahead of print.


This study analyzes the dimensional changes of the glands from prostate cancer by applying stereology to estimate the variations in volume, length, surface, and cellular densities of tumor acini. Normal and tumor acini were visualized using immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin18. On immunostained sections, parameters related to the dimensions and cell population of prostate acini were measured. The immunohistochemical expression of proliferative cell nuclear antigen was also measured to correlate the quantitative changes estimated with the proliferative activity of the epithelium. The average cell volume in normal and tumor epithelium was estimated using the method of the nucleator. The relative size of the acini was similar in the carcinoma compared with the normal prostate. Within the acini, the fraction of acinar volume occupied by the epithelium was significantly higher in cancer than in the nontumor prostate. Conversely, the glandular lumen of the cancer acini is lower than in the normal acini. The significant increase of acinar length density in the carcinoma indicates that the glandular tree’s growth in the carcinoma is higher and with more branches than in the case of nonneoplastic glands. The basal surface density is higher in the carcinoma than in the controls. The number of epithelial cells per unit length of acini was significantly decreased in the neoplastic glands. This “dilution” of the cell population along the cancer acinus can be explained by the significant increase in the tumor cell’s mean cell volume.

PMID:34355401 | DOI:10.1111/joa.13524