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Visualization of early prostatic adenocarcinoma as a stem cell disease.

  • Author(s): Jiang, Maggie Y;
  • Lee, Tammy L;
  • Hao, Su-Shin;
  • Mahooti, Sepi;
  • Baird, Stephen M;
  • Donoghue, Daniel J;
  • Haas, Martin
  • et al.

Prostate Cancer represents the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States, and the third leading cause of cancer death among men in Europe. We have previously shown that cells possessing Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) characteristics can be grown from human PrCa tissue harvested at the time of prostatectomy. However, the cellular origin of these CSCs was not previously known. In most cases, simple hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained sections are sufficient to make a definitive diagnosis of prostatic adenocarcinoma (PrCa) in needle biopsy samples. We utilized six different antibodies specific for stem cell antigens to examine paraffin sections of PrCa taken at the time of needle-biopsy diagnosis. These antisera were specific for CD44, CD133, ALDH7A1, LGR-5, Oct-4 and NANOG. We demonstrate specific staining of tumor cells with all six antisera specific for stem cell antigens. Some of these antibodies also react with cells of hyperplastic glands, but the patterns of reactivity differ from those of malignant glands. These findings demonstrate that at the time of diagnosis, PrCa consists of cells exhibiting properties of CSCs and consistent with the possibility that PrCa is a stem cell disease.

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