Objectives: By differential quantitative protein expression, it has previously been shown that annexin A3 (ANXA3) expression is associated with prostate cancer. However little is known about the role and biology of ANXA3 in the human prostate. The aim of this study was to thoroughly analyze ANXA3 expression patterns and its potential as a prognostic marker in a large set of benign, preneoplastic, and neoplastic prostate tissue samples.
Methods: Immunohistochemistry-based ANXA3 protein expression was analyzed for 1589 prostate cancers as well as smaller subsets of benign epithelium and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) in a tissue microarray format.
Results: All samples of benign prostatic epithelium and PIN showed ANXA3 protein expression, with PIN lesions showing a decreased staining intensity compared with benign epithelium (p<0.0001). In cancer, ANXA3 protein expression was essentially reduced, resulting in a negative staining rate of 27.2%, which correlated with increasing pT stage and Gleason score (p<0.0001). ANXA3 status in cancer was shown to be an independent adverse prognostic factor and enabled substratification of the large group of intermediate-risk patients (n=969) into high- and low-risk subgroups.
Conclusions: ANXA3 represents a promising candidate tissue marker, and when combined with the standard prognostic parameters, is suggested to provide a more precise prediction of prognosis in the individual patient, therefore harboring the potential to contribute to future patient management.