Telomere DNA content in prostate biopsies predicts early rise in prostate-specific antigen after radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer

Urology. 2010 Mar;75(3):724-9. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.04.032. Epub 2009 Jul 16.


Objective: To determine whether measurement of telomere DNA content (TC) in prostate biopsy tissue predicts prostate-specific antigen (PSA) recurrence in men after undergoing radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer.

Methods: Slot blot titration assay was used to quantitate TC in archived diagnostic prostate needle biopsy specimens for subjects (n = 103) diagnosed with prostate cancer and who subsequently underwent radical prostatectomy between 1993 and 1997. TC was compared to the clinical outcome measure; PSA recurrence, defined as an increase in PSA > or = 0.2 ng/mL on 2 or more consecutive measurements post-prostatectomy, was observed retrospectively, for a mean follow-up period of 114 months (range, 1-165).

Results: In the cohort, 46 subjects had a PSA recurrence. In a univariate Cox proportional hazards model, low TC (< 0.3 of standard) demonstrated a significant risk for PSA recurrence (HR = 1.94; 95% CI: 1.02-3.69, P = .04). In a subset analysis of men with biopsy Gleason sum < or = 6 (n = 63; 25 recurrences), a univariate Cox proportional hazards model demonstrated that low TC had a greater risk of PSA recurrence (HR = 4.53; 95% CI: 2.00-10.2, P < .01). In a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model, low TC was also significantly associated with PSA recurrence in this subset after controlling for preoperative PSA levels (HR = 6.62; 95% CI: 2.69-16.3, P < .01).

Conclusions: Low TC measured in prostate biopsy tissue predicts early likelihood of post-prostatectomy PSA recurrence in a retrospective analysis, and in men with biopsy Gleason sum < or = 6 disease it is also independent of preoperative PSA level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • DNA / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / blood
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prostate / chemistry*
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood*
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Telomere / genetics*
  • Time Factors


  • DNA
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen