Background: Recent advances in the early detection of prostatic adenocarcinoma have stimulated interest in the development of techniques for determining metastatic potential.
Methods: One hundred cases of adenocarcinoma, including 66 biopsy and radical prostatectomy specimens; 20 biopsies alone; and 14 transurethral resection specimens, were evaluated for Gleason tumor grade, DNA content and HER-2/neu expression. DNA content was determined on Feulgen-stained touch preparations and tissue sections (18 cases) or tissue sections alone. HER-2/neu expression level was determined by image-analysis-assisted quantitative immunocytochemistry.
Results: Tumor grade and ploidy status were independent significant predictors of metastasis. HER-2/neu overexpression was found in 16 (16%) of the 100 cases and significantly correlated with high-tumor grade and aneuploid status, but was not of independent value in the prediction of metastasis.
Conclusions: HER-2/neu overexpression is not uncommon in prostatic adenocarcinoma and is associated with high-tumor grade, abnormal DNA content, and distant metastasis. Tumor grade and DNA ploidy values are of the greatest value in determining the presence of metastasis.