TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions are infrequent in prostatic ductal adenocarcinomas

Tamara L. Lotan, Antoun Toubaji, Roula Albadine, Mathieu Latour, Mehsati Herawi, Alan K. Meeker, Angelo M. Demarzo, Elizabeth A. Platz, Jonathan I. Epstein, George J. Netto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Ductal adenocarcinoma of the prostate is an unusual subtype that may be associated with a more aggressive clinical course, and is less responsive to conventional therapies than the more common prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma. However, given its frequent association with an acinar component at prostatectomy, some have challenged the concept of prostatic ductal adenocarcinoma as a distinct clinicopathologic entity. We studied the occurrence of the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion, in 40 surgically resected ductal adenocarcinoma cases, and in their associated acinar component using fluorescence in situ hybridization. A group of 38 'pure' acinar adenocarcinoma cases matched with the ductal adenocarcinoma group for pathological grade and stage was studied as a control. Compared with the matched acinar adenocarcinoma cases, the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion was significantly less frequently observed in ductal adenocarcinoma (45 vs 11% of cases, P=0.002, Fisher's exact test). Here, of the ductal adenocarcinoma cases with the gene fusion, 75% were fused through deletion, and the remaining case was fused through translocation. The TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion was also rare in the acinar component of mixed ductal-acinar tumors when compared with the pure acinar adenocarcinoma controls (5 vs 45%, P=0.001, Fisher's exact test). In 95% of the ductal adenocarcinoma cases in which a concurrent acinar component was analyzed, there was concordance for presence/absence of the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion between the different histologic subtypes. In the control group of pure acinar adenocarcinoma cases, 59% were fused through deletion and 41% were fused through translocation. The presence of the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion in some cases of prostatic ductal adenocarcinoma supports the concept that ductal adenocarcinoma and acinar adenocarcinoma may be related genetically. However, the significantly lower rate of the gene fusion in pure ductal adenocarcinoma cases underscores the fact that genetic and biologic differences exist between these two tumors that may be important for future therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Ductal adenocarcinoma
  • Endometrioid
  • Gene fusion
  • Prostatic adenocarcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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