Background: Preclinical data suggest that TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions, present in about 50% of prostate cancers, may be a surrogate for DNA repair status and therefore a biomarker for DNA-damaging agents. To test this hypothesis, we examined whether TMPRSS2-ERG status was associated with biochemical failure after clinical induction of DNA damage following image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT). Methods: Pretreatment biopsies from two cohorts of patients with intermediate-risk prostate cancer [T1/T2, Gleason score (GS) < 8, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) < 20 ng/mL; >7 years follow-up] were analyzed: (i) 126 patients [comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) cohort] with DNA samples assayed by array CGH (aCGH) for the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion; and (ii) 118 patients [immunohistochemical (IHC) cohort] whose biopsy samples were scored within a defined tissue microarray (TMA) immunostained for ERG overexpression (known surrogate for TMPRSS2-ERG fusion). Patients were treated with IGRT with a median dose of 76 Gy. The potential role of TMPRSS2-ERG status as a prognostic factor for biochemical relapse-free rate (bRFR; nadir p 2 ng/mL) was evaluated in the context of clinical prognostic factors in multivariate analyses using a Cox proportional hazards model. Results: TMPRSS2-ERG fusion by aCGH was identified in 27 (21%) of the cases in the CGH cohort, and ERG overexpression was found in 59 (50%) patients in the IHC cohort. In both cohorts, TMPRSS2-ERG status was not associated with bRFR on univariate or multivariate analysis. Conclusions: In two similarly treated IGRT cohorts, TMPRSS2-ERG status was not prognostic for bRFR, in disagreement with the hypothesis that these prostate cancers have DNA repair defects that render them clinically more radiosensitive. TMPRSS2-ERG is therefore unlikely to be a predictive factor for IGRT response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research