Background: Human beta-microseminoprotein (beta-MSP or PSP94) is a small protein secreted by prostatic epithelial cells. We recently reported the presence of low levels of beta-MSP mRNA expression and protein in most prostate cancer tissues.
Methods: Beta-MSP and mRNA expression was examined by in situ hybridization in biopsy specimens obtained from 92 patients with prostate cancer. All tissue specimens were obtained by needle biopsies prior to treatment. All patients subsequently received endocrine therapy. To estimate the influence of beta-MSP mRNA expression and three possible prognostic factors, i.e., patient age, clinical stage, and Gleason score, on time to progression under endocrine therapy, univariate and multivariate analyses were performed using Cox's proportional hazards regression model.
Results: Multivariate survival analysis showed that clinical stage was the strongest prognostic factor (P = 0.006) and that beta-MSP mRNA expression was the second strongest factor (P = 0.038) in 92 patients with stage B-D disease. Analysis of only 51 patients with stage D disease showed that beta-MSP mRNA expression was the only significant prognostic indicator for progression under endocrine therapy (P = 0.003).
Conclusions: The presence of cells that express the beta-MSP transcript may be a novel indicator of potentially aggressive prostate cancer.