Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is regarded as the most sensitive biomarker for prostate cancer. Although androgen/androgen receptor (AR) signaling promotes prostate cancer progression, suppression of AR signaling induces chemokine (CC motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), which enables prostate cancer cells to gain metastatic potential. AR-controlled PSA alone may be an unreliable biomarker for patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy. Therefore, we investigated the validity of CCL2 as a complementary biomarker to PSA for prostate cancer. Our in vitro approach of enriching for prostate cancer cells with higher migration potential showed that CCL2 activated cellular migration. Importantly, we found that CCL2 levels were significantly different between men (n = 379) with and without prostate cancer. Patients with CCL2 ≥ 320 pg/mL had worse overall survival and prostate cancer -specific survival than those with CCL2 < 320 pg/mL. A novel risk classification was developed according to the risk factors CCL2 ≥ 320 pg/mL and PSA ≥ 100 ng/mL, and scores of 2, 1, and 0 were defined as poor, intermediate, and good risk, respectively, and clearly distinguished patient outcomes. CCL2 may serve as a novel biomarker for prostate cancer. The novel risk classification based on combining CCL2 and PSA is more reliable than using either alone.
Keywords: CCL2; androgen deprivation therapy; biomarker; prostate cancer; risk classification.