Prospective evaluation of AMACR (P504S) and basal cell markers in the assessment of routine prostate needle biopsy specimens
Gene Expression Profiling
Distinguishing benign prostate glands from malignant ones, based purely on morphology, on prostatic core needle biopsy specimens (PNBs) may prove difficult, particularly if the suspicious focus is small. In recent years, several immunohistochemical markers, including the basal cell cocktail (BCC), 34betaE12 and p63, and the prostate cancer (PCa) biomarker alpha-methylacyl-CoA-racemase (AMACR), have been used as adjuvants to morphology, in these diagnostically challenging cases. We prospectively address the diagnostic utility of using the BCC, in combination with the commercially available AMACR monoclonal antibody, P504S, on PNBs that required immunohistochemistry (IHC) studies to make a diagnosis. The goals of this prospective study were to assess the day-to-day practice in an academic setting, to determine how often these IHC tests were used on routine PNBs, and to establish how often a combination of the BCC and P504S were helpful in diagnosing prostate cancer. A total of 772 prospectively collected PNB cases were examined over a 7-month period. IHC staining was performed in 171 cases (22%); 123 cases were stained with the BCC in addition to the commercially available monoclonal AMACR antibody. In 86 of these 123 cases (70%), both stains contributed to the final diagnosis: PCa in 44 cases, benign in 33 cases and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia in 9 cases. Of the remaining 37 cases (30%), 18 were called benign or PCa, based solely on appropriate staining with the BCC, with AMACR being noncontributory because the focus of interest had been cut through (12 cases), there was negative staining with AMACR (in 4 PCa cases), or there was positive staining with AMACR (in 2 benign cases showing atrophy). Nineteen of 37 cases were diagnosed as atypical small acinar proliferation. In these 19 cases either the focus had been cut through on one or both of the stains (11 cases), both AMACR and BCC failed to work (2 cases), AMACR was positive in the presence of patchy BCC staining (1 cases), AMACR was negative in the absence of BCC staining (3 cases), or despite appropriate staining the focus consisted of 1 gland and was considered too small to call carcinoma (2 cases). Additional IHC stains were performed in 171 of 772 cases; of these, 123 had sufficient material to perform both the BCC and P504S. The BCC when used in combination with AMACR rendered a diagnosis in almost 70% of cases. Using these stains in combination may be a better approach in diagnostically difficult cases as it increases the likelihood that a definitive diagnosis can be rendered while decreasing the likelihood of an equivocal diagnosis. However, a limitation of this approach is the loss of tissue in these small lesions, suggesting that combining AMACR and the BCC on a single slide would be superior to using either marker separately.