Prostate-specific membrane antigen in breast cancer: a comprehensive evaluation of expression and a case report of radionuclide therapy
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Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), a protein product of the folate hydrolase 1 (FOLH1) gene, is gaining increasing acceptance as a target for positron emission tomography/computer tomography (PET/CT) imaging in patients with several cancer types, including breast cancer. So far, PSMA expression in breast cancer endothelia has not been sufficiently characterized.
This study comprised 315 cases of invasive carcinoma of no special type (NST) and lobular breast cancer (median follow-up time 9.0 years). PSMA expression on tumor endothelia was detected by immunohistochemistry. Further, vascular mRNA expression of the FOLH1 gene (PSMA) was investigated in a cohort of patients with invasive breast cancer provided by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).
Sixty percent of breast cancer cases exhibited PSMA-positive endothelia with higher expression rates in tumors of higher grade, NST subtype with Her2-positivity, and lack of hormone receptors. These findings were confirmed on mRNA expression levels. The highest PSMA rates were observed in triple-negative carcinomas (4.5 × higher than in other tumors). Further, a case of a patient with metastatic breast cancer showing PSMA expression in PET/CT imaging and undergoing PSMA radionuclide therapy is discussed in detail.
This study provides a rationale for the further development of PSMA-targeted imaging in breast cancer, especially in triple-negative tumors.
KeywordsFOLH1 PSMA Breast cancer PET/CT Expression Endothelium Marker
No funding was received for this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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