Background: The identification of new prognostic markers for prostate cancer is highly warranted, since it is difficult to identify patients requiring curative treatment. Data from both experimental models and clinical samples have identified important functions of PDGFRbeta on pericytes and fibroblasts in the tumor stroma.
Methodology/principal findings: In this study the prognostic significance of PDGFRbeta in prostate cancer stroma, and in matched non-malignant tissue, was evaluated with immunohistochemistry. PDGFRbeta expression was analyzed in normal and tumor stroma from more than 300 prostate cancer patients. High PDGFRbeta expression in tumor stroma was associated with large tumor size, advanced stage, high Gleason score and high vessel density. Perivascular PDGFRbeta staining in tumors was also correlated with high Gleason score. Correlations were also observed between PDGFRbeta status in tumor stroma and non-malignant stroma. Similarly, high PDGFRbeta expression in adjacent non-malignant tissue stroma correlated with large tumor size, advanced stage, high Gleason score and proliferation in non-malignant epithelium. Interestingly, high levels of PDGFRbeta in the stroma of tumor and non-malignant tissue were associated with shorter cancer specific survival in prostate cancer patients.
Conclusions/significance: The study revealed a number of novel associations between stromal PDGFRbeta expression in prostate tumors and several important clinical characteristics, including survival.