Background: Numerous problems are associated with biochemical androgen receptor (AR) assay performance and interpretation in prostatic cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine if a novel immunocytochemical AR assay performed on intact tissue sections would prove useful in prognosticating endocrine response and survival.
Methods: A prospective study was done on 63 prostatic carcinomas maintained in liquid nitrogen for over a decade. The study used the peroxidaseantiperoxidase system and a polyclonal anti-AR antibody.
Results: Marked tissue and cellular heterogeneity of nuclear AR was apparent. A cut-off of 10% AR-positive cells maximized assay prognostic efficiency. Frequency of positivity was 48% and correlated significantly with endocrine response (p=0.03), time to progression (p=0.0016), and survival (p=0.02), but not with grade, stage, or ethnicity.
Conclusions: This AR assay could be prognostically useful in the clinical management of prostate cancer and is suitable for use in the community hospital laboratory.
Prostate cancer Androgen receptors Immunocytochemistry Prognostic data
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