Detecting genomic alterations that result in more aggressive prostate cancer may improve clinical treatment and our understanding of the biology underlying this common but complex disease. To this end, we undertook a genome-wide copy number alterations (CNAs) study of clinicopathological characteristics of 62 prostate tumors using the Illumina 1M single nucleotide polymorphism array. The highest overall frequencies of CNAs were on chromosomes 8q (gains), 8p (loss and copy-neutral), and 6q (copy-loss). Combined loss and copy-neutral events were associated with increasing disease grade (P = 0.03), stage (P = 0.01), and diagnostic prostate specific antigen (PSA) (P = 0.01). Further evaluation of CNAs using gene ontology identified pathways involved with disease aggressiveness. The "regulation of apoptosis" pathway was associated with stage of disease (P = 0.004), while the "reproductive cellular process" pathway was associated with diagnostic PSA (P = 0.00038). Specific genes within these pathways exhibited strong associations with clinical characteristics; for example, in the apoptosis pathway BNIP3L was associated with increasing prostate tumor stage (P = 0.007). These findings confirm known regions of CNAs in prostate cancer and localize additional regions and possible genes (e.g., BNIP3L, WWOX, and GATM) that may help to clarify the genetic basis of prostate cancer aggressiveness.
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