Intraprostatic inflammation is positively associated with serum PSA in men with PSA < 4 ngml-1, normal DRE and negative for prostate cancer

M. H. Umbehr, B. Gurel, T. J. Murtola, S. Sutcliffe, S. B. Peskoe, C. M. Tangen, P. J. Goodman, I. M. Thompson, S. M. Lippman, M. S. Lucia, H. L. Parnes, C. G. Drake, W. G. Nelson, A. M. De Marzo, E. A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Biopsies performed for elevated serum PSA often show inflammatory infiltrates. However, the influence of intraprostatic inflammation on serum PSA in men without biopsy indication and negative for prostate cancer has not been described in detail.Methods:We studied 224 men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial (PCPT) who underwent end-of-study biopsy per trial protocol, had PSA <4 ng ml-1, normal digital rectal examination and a biopsy negative for cancer. We analyzed data from hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides containing a mean of three biopsy cores. Inflammation measures included the extent (percentage of tissue area with inflammation) and intensity (product of scores for extent and grade) of total, acute and chronic inflammation in the entire tissue area examined, and by tissue compartment. We calculated median measures of inflammation by prebiopsy serum PSA tertile (>0 to ≤0.8, >0.8 to ≤1.5 and >1.5 to <4.0 ng ml-1). We estimated the association between percentage of tissue area with inflammation and natural logarithm of PSA using linear regression adjusting for age at biopsy.Results:Median percentage of tissue area with inflammation increased from 2 to 5 to 9.5% across PSA tertiles (P-trend <0.0001). For every 5% increase in tissue area with inflammation, log PSA increased by 0.061 ng ml-1 (P=0.0002). Median extent and intensity scores increased across PSA tertiles in luminal and intraepithelial compartments for acute inflammation and in stromal and intraepithelial compartments for chronic inflammation (all P-trend ≤0.05).Conclusions:In men without clinical suspicion of prostate cancer, greater overall inflammation, luminal and intraepithelial acute inflammation and stromal and intraepithelial chronic inflammation were associated with higher serum PSA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-269
Number of pages6
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 14 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research


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