Objective: The reactive stroma of prostate cancer contains a mixture of myofibroblasts and fibroblasts, while fully differentiated smooth-muscle cells are very rare or absent. In experimental prostate cancer models, prostatic stromal cells promote angiogenesis and stimulate prostate tumorigenesis. The aim of this study is to analyse whether the intensity of stromal changes can predict survival in patients with prostatic carcinoma.
Material and methods: Stromal reaction was quantified histochemically and imunohistochemically in 50 patients treated with radical prostatectomy for clinically localized prostate carcinoma and its relationship with established prognostic factors was assessed.
Results: Kaplan-Meier analysis showed a significant association between the pattern of vimentin and desmin expression and the length of disease-free period; patients with a higher vimentin or lower desmin expression had a shorter disease-free period. On multivariate analysis only vimentin expression (odds ratio 4.06, 95% confidence interval 1.01-16.26, p = 0.049) was a significant predictor of biochemical recurrence. In patients with identical Gleason pattern and Gleason score the level of vimentin expression could identify patients with a higher risk of disease recurrence.
Conclusions: Intensity of stromal changes could serve as an independent prognostic factor in the assessment of biochemical recurrence-free survival. Among prostate cancer patients with an identical Gleason score, it could identify patients with a higher risk of biochemical recurrence. Thus, stromal changes and their intensity could serve as a novel marker for the recognition of patients with an increased risk of disease recurrence.