Tag Archive for: prostate cancer aggressiveness

Posts

Article of the Week: Prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E mutation in Danish men undergoing radical prostatectomy and its correlations with prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

Prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E mutation in Danish men undergoing radical prostatectomy and its correlations with prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness

Tine M. Storebjerg*,,, Søren Høyer, Pia Kirkegaard§, Flemming Bro§, the LuCamp Study Group, Torben F. Ørntoft, Michael Borre* and Karina D. Sørensen

 

Departments of*Urology Pathology, Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Molecular Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, §Research Unit for General Practice and Research Centre for Cancer Diagnosis in Primary Care, Aarhus University, Aarhus, and Lundbeck Foundation Centre for Applied Medical Genomics in Personalized Disease Prediction, Prevention and Care, Copenhagen, Denmark

 

Objectives

To determine the prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E mutation (rs138213197) in Danish men with or without prostate cancer (PCa) and to investigate possible correlations between HOXB13 mutation status and clinicopathological characteristics associated with tumour aggressiveness.

Materials and Methods

We conducted a case–control study including 995 men with PCa (cases) who underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) between 1997 and 2011 at the Department of Urology, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark. As controls, we used 1622 healthy men with a normal prostate specific antigen (PSA) level.

Results

The HOXB13 G84E mutation was identified in 0.49% of controls and in 2.51% of PCa cases. The mutation was associated with a 5.12-fold increased relative risk (RR) of PCa (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.26–13.38; P = 13 × 10−6). Furthermore, carriers of the risk allele were significantly more likely to have a higher PSA level at diagnosis (mean PSA 19.9 vs 13.6 ng/mL; P = 0.032), a pathological Gleason score ≥7 (83.3 vs 60.9%; P = 0.032), and positive surgical margins (56.0 vs 28.5%; P = 0.006) than non-carriers. Risk allele carriers were also more likely to have aggressive disease (54.2 vs 28.6%; P = 0.011), as defined by a preoperative PSA ≥20 ng/mL, pathological Gleason score ≥ (4+3) and/or presence of regional/distant disease. At a mean follow-up of 7 months, we found no significant association between HOXB13mutation status and biochemical recurrence in this cohort of men who underwent RP.

octaotw3-results

Conclusions

This is the first study to investigate the HOXB13 G84E mutation in Danish men. The mutation was detected in 0.49% of controls and in 2.51% of cases, and was associated with 5.12-fold increased RR of being diagnosed with PCa. In our RP cohort, HOXB13 mutation carriers were more likely to develop aggressive PCa. Further studies are needed to assess the potential of HOXB13 for future targeted screening approaches.

Editorial: HOXB13 mutations and prostate cancer risk

For the first time, Storebjerg et al. [1] describe the prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E mutation in a Danish population and its association with prostate cancer risk and features indicative of clinically aggressive disease in a cohort of men undergoing radical prostatectomy. In this study, the prostate cancer risk mutation was seen in 0.49% of controls with an ~5-fold increase in risk of prostate cancer among carriers. The homeobox transcription factor gene HOXB13, is located on the long arm of chromosome 17 (17q21), and belongs to a superfamily of genes considered critical to animal embryonic development, characterised by a highly-conserved DNA-binding domain. In 2012, our research team described the association of a rare recurrent HOXB13 mutation, substituting adenine for guanine in the second position of codon 84 resulting in the replacement of glycine by glutamic acid, with prostate cancer and found that the carrier frequency was ~20-times higher among men with early onset disease and multiple affected close relatives compared with men presumed without disease [2]. Since then, numerous studies have confirmed this association with estimates of risk overall varying from ~3 to 9-fold, and generally a greater risk seen among men diagnosed before the age of 60 years and among those with a positive family history of disease among first-degree relatives [3]. The G84E mutation is almost exclusively found in men of Northern European descent with evidence suggesting that it is a relatively recent (circa 1790s) founder mutation in the population, and considered to be of moderate penetrance (estimated lifetime risk among carriers 35–65%) [4]. The same germline mutation has also been preliminarily reported to be associated with cancers of the breast, colon, bladder, and leukaemia, but requires further investigation [5, 6].

The findings from this study [1], both for the prevalence of the mutation, as well as its magnitude of association with prostate cancer, are comparable to prior reports in Northern European populations. Furthermore, among the 995 cases, the mutation frequency was significantly associated with features predictive of progression after surgery (high PSA level, positive surgical margins, higher pathological Gleason score, and non-organ confined disease) suggesting that genetic evaluation of men with a strong family history would identify a subset of men that would benefit from early screening and intervention in the same manner as are male carriers of known founder mutations in BRCA2[7]. The observation between HOXB13 and clinical features indicative of aggressive disease has been less consistent compared with studies of risk overall and the exact mechanism whereby the gene contributes to malignant progression in the prostate is not well-understood. There is some suggestion that the gene may operate both as a tumour suppressor, as early studies reported its suppression of androgen receptor activity, and as an oncogene as HOXB13 overexpression has been seen in androgen-independent tumours [8].

Currently, most countries (including the USA) do not recommend use of PSA screening for men at average risk for prostate cancer. However, given the significant risk of prostate cancer in men carrying a single copy of the HOXB13 G84E allele, should these male mutation carriers be screened for prostate cancer with PSA testing and DRE? If so, how do we identify these men and at what age should testing commence? Unfortunately, many G84E carriers may not be identified by family history, which raises the question about when is the risk of disease significant enough to warrant population level testing? As Nordic countries, including Denmark, have a higher frequency of HOXB13 G84E allele in the general population, research directed toward understanding the benefit of genetic testing followed by prostate cancer early detection strategies should be considered.

Kathleen A. Cooney* and Jennifer L. Beebe-Dimmer

 

*Departments of Internal Medicine and Urology, The University of Michigan, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, and Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detro it, MI, USA

 

References

 

 

2 Ewing CM, Ray AM, Lange EM et al. Germline mutations in HOXB13 and prostate-cancer risk. N Engl J Med 2012; 366: 1419

 

3 Beebe-Dimmer JL, Isaacs WB, Zuhlke KA et al. Prevalence of the HOXB13 G84E prostate cancer risk allele in men treated with radical prostatectomy. BJU Int 2014; 113: 8305

 

 

5 Alanee S, Couch F, OftK. Association of a HOXB13 variant with breast cancer. N Engl J Med 2012; 367: 4801

 

6 Beebe-Dimmer JL, Hathcock M, Yee C et al. The HOXB13 G84E mutation is associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer and other malignancies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2015; 24: 136672

 

7 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. Genetic/Familial High-risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian (Version 2.2015). Available at: https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed 12-27-2015

 

8 Shah N, Sukumar S. The Hox genes and their roles in oncogenesis. Nat Rev Cancer 2010; 10: 36171

 

Article of the Week: FH as a risk factor for PCa

Every Week the Editor-in-Chief selects an Article of the Week from the current issue of BJUI. The abstract is reproduced below and you can click on the button to read the full article, which is freely available to all readers for at least 30 days from the time of this post.

In addition to the article itself, there is an accompanying editorial written by a prominent member of the urological community. This blog is intended to provoke comment and discussion and we invite you to use the comment tools at the bottom of each post to join the conversation.

If you only have time to read one article this week, it should be this one.

A positive family history as a risk factor for prostate cancer in a population-based study with organised prostate-specific antigen screening: results of the Swiss European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC, Aarau)

Marco Randazzo*,, Alexander Muller*, Sigrid Carlsson, Daniel Eberli*, Andreas

 

Huber, Rainer Grobholz**, Lukas Manka††, Ashkan Mortezavi*, Tullio Sulser*, Franz Recker† and Maciej Kwiatkowski,††

 

*Department of Urology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Department of Urology, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland, Department of Surgery (Urology Service), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA, §Department of Urology, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden, Department of Laboratory Medicine, **Department of Pathology, Cantonal Hospital Aarau, Aarau, Switzerland, and ††Department of Urology, Academic Hospital Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany

 

Read the full article

Objective

To assess the value of a positive family history (FH) as a risk factor for prostate cancer incidence and grade among men undergoing organised prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in a population-based study.

Subjects and Methods

The study cohort comprised all attendees of the Swiss arm of the European Randomised Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) with systematic PSA level tests every 4 years. Men reporting first-degree relative(s) diagnosed with prostate cancer were considered to have a positive FH. Biopsy was exclusively PSA triggered at a PSA level threshold of 3 ng/mL. The primary endpoint was prostate cancer diagnosis. Kaplan–Meier and Cox regression analyses were used.

Results

Of 4 932 attendees with a median (interquartile range, IQR) age of 60.9 (57.6–65.1) years, 334 (6.8%) reported a positive FH. The median (IQR) follow-up duration was 11.6 (10.3–13.3) years. Cumulative prostate cancer incidence was 60/334 (18%, positive FH) and 550/4 598 (12%, negative FH) [odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–2.2, P = 0.001). In both groups, most prostate cancer diagnosed was low grade. There were no significant differences in PSA level at diagnosis, biopsy Gleason score or Gleason score on pathological specimen among men who underwent radical prostatectomy between both groups. On multivariable analysis, age (hazard ratio [HR] 1.04, 95% CI 1.02–1.06), baseline PSA level (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.12–1.14), and FH (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.24–2.14) were independent predictors for overall prostate cancer incidence (all P < 0.001). Only baseline PSA level (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.12–1.16, P < 0.001) was an independent predictor of Gleason score ≥7 prostate cancer on prostate biopsy. The proportion of interval prostate cancer diagnosed in-between the screening rounds was not significantly different.

AOTW4Apr

Conclusion

Irrespective of the FH status, the current PSA-based screening setting detects the majority of aggressive prostate cancers and missed only a minority of interval cancers with a 4-year screening algorithm. Our results suggest that men with a positive FH are at increased risk of low-grade but not aggressive prostate cancer.

Editorial: To PSA or not to PSA?

Family history (FH) has long been known to increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer (PCa); there is an approximately twofold increased risk with an affected father and a threefold increased risk with an affected brother [1]. Furthermore, FH may increase the risk of more aggressive disease for family members, although results of studies in the PSA screening era have been inconsistent [2, 3]. Using FH as a risk factor, the present analysis of the Swiss arm of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) conducted by Randazzo et al. [4] sought to determine whether men with a positive FH of PCa, followed up by PSA screening every 4 years, would have a higher risk of having more aggressive disease.

As expected, the present results show that a significantly higher proportion of men with a FH were diagnosed with PCa compared with those with a negative FH; however, there was no difference in the frequency of more aggressive disease amongst men with a FH, therefore, while FH information can be used to identify men at highest risk of PCa, it does not appear to identify those who are most likely to harbour clinically significant disease.

One reason that a positive FH may not be associated with aggressiveness in the present study is that it has been previously established that PSA screening is associated with a migration towards lower grade and stage disease. It may not be surprising, therefore, that the PSA screened arm may have less aggressive disease. What we ultimately want to understand is whether unscreened men with a FH present with more aggressive disease. This question may have been better addressed by comparing those with a positive FH undergoing screening with those with a positive FH not undergoing screening. Previous studies conducted in this fashion suggested a difference in PCa mortality among men with a positive FH [5]. Unfortunately, these data were not available in the ERSPC. Future studies that continue to evaluate this question may elucidate whether FH predisposes to more aggressive disease.

Another factor that may have impeded the results of the present study is that men aged <55 years were not included in ERSPC. It is possible that FH predisposes to more aggressive cancers earlier in life, in men as young as 40 years. There is evidence that relative risk and risk for early-onset disease increases when a father or brother is diagnosed at a younger age, <60 years [6]. Future studies incorporating this younger cohort of men should therefore be conducted.

Until it has been clarified whether men with a positive FH of PCa are at risk of more aggressive disease, PSA screening strategies that begin at young ages should be used. In this fashion, it will be possible to selectively test populations of men at highest risk of developing PCa. Once these men have been screened, clinicians will be able to distinguish men with aggressive disease from those with more indolent disease. We believe that this shifts the focus to a different question: to treat or not to treat? Future research should continue to focus on methods of identifying those men who will go on to develop aggressive disease. Until then, men with low grade disease should continue to be followed by active surveillance [3].

Read the full article
Christina G. Selkirk* and Brian T. Helfand
*Center for Medical Genetics, Department of Medicine, NorthShore University Health System, and John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health, Department of Surgery, NorthShor e University HealthSystem, Chicago, IL, USA

 

References

 

 

© 2022 BJU International. All Rights Reserved.