Feasibility of constructing tissue microarrays from diagnostic prostate biopsies

Prostate. 2007 Jul 1;67(10):1011-8. doi: 10.1002/pros.20603.


Objectives: The ability to construct prostate tissue microarrays (TMAs) using prostate needle biopsies could allow high throughput molecular profiling to search for prostate cancer prognostic biomarkers.

Materials and methods: Diagnostic prostate biopsies from 13 patients (diagnosed 1996-2000) were obtained from the University of North Carolina (UNC) to construct one prostate TMA under uniform conditions. A second prostate TMA was attempted using diagnostic prostate biopsies from 45 patients (diagnosed 2004) obtained from the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP).

Results: Eleven men had sufficient prostate cancer in their diagnostic prostate biopsy blocks to construct a UNC TMA that yielded six-micron sections that provided an average of 76% of cores (maximum 99%) to a depth of 360 microm. Diagnostic prostate biopsy blocks from 35 PCaP research subjects were unsuitable for TMA construction as a result of no remaining prostate cancer in 4, insufficient prostate cancer in 9, and insufficient prostate tissue in 22. The PCaP TMA constructed from 10 men yielded an average of 37%, and a maximum of 45%, of cores when sectioned to a depth of 360 microm.

Conclusions: TMAs may be constructed from diagnostic prostate biopsies obtained at an academic center under uniform conditions. However, excessive facing of blocks and the large number of re-cuts ordered by many community pathology laboratories deplete diagnostic prostate biopsy tissue. The experience of a population-based study of men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer in Louisiana and North Carolina suggests that TMAs may not be constructed using diagnostic prostate biopsies from men diagnosed with prostate cancer throughout the United States.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microarray Analysis / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Specimen Handling


  • Biomarkers, Tumor