ERG gene rearrangement has been identified as a highly specific alteration that is present in 40–50 % of prostate carcinomas. The standardization of an immunohistochemical assay with a novel anti-ERG antibody recently described would have significant diagnostic value. The aims of this study were to identify the incidence of this rearrangement in a Spanish population and to test the specificity of immunohistochemical ERG evaluation for prostate carcinomas. Three prostate tissue microarrays were constructed using radical prostatectomy specimens and related to grade, local invasion, and regional invasion. In addition to samples from malignant cases (160), specimens of prostatic hyperplasia (26) and high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (10) were included. Tissue microarrays of 270 samples from most common malignant tumors (breast, colon, lung, and bladder) were also tested. All were analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Seventy-five out of 154 evaluable cases (49 %) of prostate carcinoma showed ERG expression; 52/75 showed strong staining. No ERG expression was observed in any of the high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. ERG expression was independent of Gleason score (p = 0.160), extent of invasion (p = 0.517), and regional lymph node involvement (p = 0.816). No ERG expression was found in any other type of tumor, with the exception of one bladder cancer sample that showed focal and weak expression. The frequency of ERG detected in our study correlated with the results published for other Caucasian populations. Strong ERG protein expression was exclusively detected in prostate carcinomas, corroborating the specificity of ERG rearrangements for these tumors. Thus, detecting ERG using immunohistochemistry may be useful in routine practice in pathology departments.
ERG rearrangement Prostate cancer Immunohistochemistry Clone EPR3864 TMPRSS2:ERG
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The authors thank Sara Rivas for the construction of the tissue microarrays and Nuria Arraiza for performing the immunohistochemical staining. They also thank Ana Ma Guardiola for her secretarial assistance in data collection.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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