Comparison of the prognostic potential of hyaluronic acid, hyaluronidase (HYAL-1), CD44v6 and microvessel density for prostate cancer

Int J Cancer. 2004 Oct 20;112(1):121-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.20368.


Despite the development of nomograms designed to evaluate a prostate cancer (PCa) patient's prognosis, the information has been limited to PSA, clinical stage, Gleason score and tumor volume estimates. We compared the prognostic potential of 4 histologic markers, hyaluronic acid (HA), HYAL-1-type hyaluronidase (HAase), CD44v6 and microvessel density (MVD) using immunohistochemistry. HA is a glycosaminoglycan that promotes tumor metastasis. CD44 glycoproteins serve as cell surface receptors for HA, and the CD44v6 isoform is associated with tumor metastasis. HYAL-1-type HAase is expressed in tumor cells and, like other HAases, degrades HA into angiogenic fragments. Archival PCa specimens (n=66) were obtained from patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for clinically localized PCa and had a minimum follow-up of 72 months (range 72-131 months, mean 103 months). For HA, HYAL-1 and CD44v6 staining and MVD determination, a biotinylated HA-binding protein, an anti-HYAL-1 IgG, an anti-CD44v6 IgG and an anti-CD34 IgG were used, respectively. HA and HYAL-1 staining was classified as either low- or high-grade. CD44v6 staining and MVD were evaluated quantitatively and then grouped as either low- or high-grade. Using 72 months as the cut-off limit for evaluating biochemical recurrence, HA, HYAL-1, combined HA-HYAL-1, CD44v6 and MVD staining predicted progression with 96%, 84%, 84%, 68% and 76% sensitivity, respectively. Specificity was, 61% (HA), 80.5% (HYAL-1), 87.8% (HA-HYAL-1), 56.1% (CD44v6) and 61% (MVD). Sensitivity and specificity values for each marker did not change significantly in a subset of 45 patients for whom follow-up of longer than 112 months was available. In univariate analysis using the Cox proportional hazards model, preoperative PSA, Gleason sum, margin status, seminal vesicle, extraprostatic extension (EPE), HA, HYAL-1, HA-HYAL-1 and MVD, but not CD44v6, age and clinical stage, were significant in predicting biochemical recurrence (p < 0.05). In multivariate analysis using stepwise selection, only preoperative PSA (hazard ratio/unit PSA change=1.086, p < 0.0001), EPE (hazard ratio=6.22, p=0.0016) and HYAL-1 (hazard ratio=8.196, p=0.0009)/HA-HYAL-1 (hazard ratio=5.191, p=0.0021) were independent predictors of biochemical recurrence. HA was an independent predictor of prognosis if HYAL-1 staining inference was not included in the multivariate model. In our retrospective study with 72- to 131-month follow-up, EPE, preoperative PSA and HYAL-1 either alone or together with HA (i.e., combined HA-HYAL-1) were independent prognostic indicators for PCa.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Disease Progression
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / metabolism*
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism*
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / metabolism*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD44v6 antigen
  • Glycoproteins
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen