Obesity is linked with more aggressive prostate cancer and higher rates of disease recurrence post treatment. It is unclear if this is due to specific tumor-promoting effects of obesity or diagnostic bias. Patients undergoing prostatectomy were categorized according to their body mass index (BMI). Expected prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels were calculated for each patient based on tumor characteristics. The effect of obesity on the accuracy of pre-treatment risk categorization was determined, and mediation analysis was used to identify the contribution of biologic vs non-biologic mechanisms to the observed increased risk of biochemical recurrence. Residual tumor-promoting effects were estimated in a survival model controlling for diagnostic error. The following results were obtained. The analysis included 1587 patients. Despite similar rates of adverse pathological features at prostatectomy, biochemical recurrence rates were significantly higher in very obese patients, which persisted after adjustment for stage, grade and PSA. Tumor volume however correlated significantly with BMI (P = 0.004), and the difference in predicted and observed ‘tumor-attributable’ PSA (Delta-PSA) in very obese patients was greater than three times higher than that of healthy patients (P = 0.0067). Regression analysis indicated that the effect of BMI on tumor volume was fully mediated indirectly by its effect on PSA. Inclusion of this diagnostic error as a covariate in the survival analysis attenuated the effect of BMI on recurrence. In conclusion, being very obese suppresses tumor-associated PSA resulting in a diagnostic bias that is responsible for errors in risk classification, and potentially contributes to a delay in initial presentation.
Ken Chow, Stefano Mangiola, Jaideep Vazirani, Justin S Peters, Anthony J Costello, Christopher M Hovens and Niall M Corcoran
Stefano Mangiola, Ryan Stuchbery, Geoff Macintyre, Michael J Clarkson, Justin S Peters, Anthony J Costello, Christopher M Hovens and Niall M Corcoran
Evidence suggests that altered adipose tissue homeostasis may be an important contributor to the development and/or progression of prostate cancer. In this study, we investigated the adipose transcriptional profiles of low- and high-risk disease to determine both prognostic potential and possible biological drivers of aggressive disease. RNA was extracted from periprostatic adipose tissue from patients categorised as having prostate cancer with either a low or high risk of progression based on tumour characteristics at prostatectomy and profiled by RNA sequencing. The expression of selected genes was then quantified by qRT-PCR in a cross-validation cohort. In the first phase, a total of 677 differentially transcribed genes were identified, from which a subset of 14 genes was shortlisted. In the second phase, a 3 gene (IGHA1, OLFM4, RERGL) signature was refined and evaluated using recursive feature selection and cross-validation, obtaining a promising discriminatory utility (area under curve 0.72) at predicting the presence of high-risk disease. Genes implicated in immune and/or inflammatory responses predominated. Periprostatic adipose tissue from patients with high-risk prostate cancer has a distinct transcriptional signature that may be useful for detecting its occult presence. Differential expression appears to be driven by a local immune/inflammatory reaction to more advanced tumours, than any specific adipose tissue-specific tumour-promoting mechanism. This signature is transferable into a clinically usable PCR-based assay, which in a cross-validation cohort shows diagnostic potential.