Predicting Early Metastasis in Young Men with Prostate Cancer

Researchers recently developed a gene signature to identify younger men with prostate cancer who were at risk for metastasis. The study was published in the Journal of Translational Genetics and Genomics.

The researchers measured genome-wide gene expression for 119 tumors and matched benign tissues from prostatectomies performed in men diagnosed from 38 to 50 years (n=58) and 71 to 75 years (n=61). They identified age-related differentially expressed genes (DEGs) for tissue type and Gleason score. They used the improved Prediction Analysis of Microarray method (iPAM) to choose age-related DEGs. Gene expression data were collected from 1,232 prostatectomies. The study authors implemented area under the curve (AUC) of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) to determine how accurate the early metastasis predictions were.

The iPAM classifier consisted of 36 age-related DEGs. The classifier’s AUC of five-year survival ROC was: 0.87 in men aged ≤55 years (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78-0.94); 0.82 in men aged 56-70 years (95% CI, 0.76-0.88); and 0.69 in men aged >70 years (95% CI, 0.55-0.69). The two younger groups had more pronounced metastasis-associated immune responses in the tumor microenvironment, which the researchers suggested may be why the metastasis predictions were more accurate in these patients.

The study was limited by its small sample size of young patients, the researchers noted.