Background: A 3.4kb deletion (3.4kbΔ ) in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) found in histologically normal prostate biopsy specimens has been reported to be a biomarker for the increased probability of prostate cancer. Increased mtDNA copy number is also reported as associated with cancer.
Objective: Independent evaluation of these two potential prostate cancer biomarkers using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) prostate tissue and matched urine and serum from a high risk cohort of men with and without prostate cancer.
Methods: Biomarker levels were detected via qPCR.
Results: Both 3.4kbΔ and mtDNA levels were significantly higher in cancer patient FFPE cores (p= 0.045 and p= 0.070 respectively at > 90% confidence). Urine from cancer patients contained significantly higher levels of mtDNA (p= 0.006, 64.3% sensitivity, 86.7% specificity). Combining the 3.4kbΔ and mtDNA gave better performance of detecting prostate cancer than either biomarker alone (FFPE 73.7% sensitivity, 65% specificity; urine 64.3% sensitivity, 100% specificity). In serum, there was no difference for any of the biomarkers.
Conclusions: This is the first report on detecting the 3.4kbΔ in urine and evaluating mtDNA levels as a prostate cancer biomarker. A confirmation study with increased sample size and possibly with additional biomarkers would need to be conducted to corroborate and extend these observations.
Keywords: 3.4kb deletion; EDRN; FFPE; NIST; Prostate; biomarker; cancer; mitochondrial DNA; serum; urine.