Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 479–490 | Cite as

Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) expression in breast cancer and its metastases

  • Mariz KasohaEmail author
  • Clara Unger
  • Erich-Franz Solomayer
  • Rainer M. Bohle
  • Claudia Zaharia
  • Fadi Khreich
  • Stefan Wagenpfeil
  • Ingolf Juhasz-Böss
Research Paper


The present study was undertaken to investigate the expression of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) in normal breast tissues, in cancerous breast tissues and in distant metastases from patients with breast cancer. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to determine PSMA expression and angiogenic activity using anti-PSMA mAb and anti-CD31 mAb respectively. Immunofluorescence staining was applied to confirm the exact co-localization of PSMA and CD31. We observed different patterns of PSMA expression between normal and cancerous tissues. Normal breast tissues showed PSMA expression only in normal glandular cells. However, primary breast tumors and distant metastases showed PSMA expression in tumor cells and in tumor-associated neovasculature. PSMA score group status in primary breast tumors was significantly associated with histologic type and tumor grade (p = 0.026 and p = 0.004 respectively). Distant metastases showed higher PSMA expression in tumor-associated neovasculature comparing with primary tumors. Moreover, brain tumor-associated neovasculture had significantly higher expression of PSMA comparing with bone tumor-associated neovasculture. The localized binding of PSMA mAb to the neovasculature endothelium was confirmed with the double Immunofluorescence staining. 68Ga-PSAM imaging of a patient with metastatic breast cancer showed strong tracer uptake in all known skeletal metastases. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the second one that has assessed PSMA expression in a large number of breast cancer patients. Our findings showed that PSMA is particularly expressed in tumor-associated neovasculature of breast tumors and its distant metastases, thus enhancing the evidence on the potential usefulness of PSMA as a therapeutic vascular target.


Breast cancer Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) Angiogenesis Metastases Neovasculature 



We thank Barbara Linxweiler from the department of obstetrics and gynecology, University Medical School of Saarland for her excellent technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mariz Kasoha
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clara Unger
    • 1
  • Erich-Franz Solomayer
    • 1
  • Rainer M. Bohle
    • 2
  • Claudia Zaharia
    • 2
  • Fadi Khreich
    • 3
  • Stefan Wagenpfeil
    • 4
  • Ingolf Juhasz-Böss
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Reproductive MedicineUniversity Medical School of SaarlandHomburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of General and Surgical PathologyUniversity Medical School of SaarlandHomburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear MedicineSaarland UniversityHomburgGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Medical Biometry, Epidemiology and Medical InformaticsSaarland UniversityHomburgGermany

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