Background: To study the levels of transforming growth factor-1beta (TGF-beta1) and of alpha2-macroglobulin (alpha2-M), a high affinity binding protein of TGF-beta1, in comparison to prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in prostate cancer (PCa) patients before and up to 12 months after prostatectomy, and to correlate the results with clinicopathological parameters.
Methods: Eighty-one patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for PCa were included in this study. Pre- and postoperatively, plasma levels of TGF-beta1, alpha2-M and PSA were measured in the same samples by ELISA, and were correlated with pathological parameters and clinical outcomes.
Results: The preoperative TGF-beta1 levels were significantly elevated as compared to the controls; they showed a positive correlation with the Gleason score. Patients with initial androgen-deprivation therapy had lower TGF-beta1 levels than untreated patients. Elevated concentrations of TGF-beta1 levelled off 12 months after prostatectomy approaching values of healthy individuals. Decreased plasma levels of total and transformed alpha2-M (proteinase-complexed form) were observed in PCa. Preoperative levels of TGF-beta1 but not of alpha2-M seem to be influenced by the body mass index (BMI).
Conclusions: Elevated TGF-beta1 and decreased alpha2-M were consistently found in patients with PCa, and may be considered as risk factors for tumor development and progression. In comparison to PSA, the TGF-beta1 levels displayed a slow decline after radical prostatectomy; this indicates that TGF-beta1 is mainly produced outside the prostatic tissue. Since TGF-beta1 levels are influenced by the BMI, this indicates that PCa might be sensitive to diet.
2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.