Ability to predict metastasis based on pathology findings and alterations in nuclear structure of normal-appearing and cancer peripheral zone epithelium in the prostate

Robert W. Veltri, Masood A. Khan, M. Craig Miller, Jonathan I. Epstein, Leslie A. Mangold, Patrick C. Walsh, Alan W. Partin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Malignant transformation in the prostate produces significant alterations in glandular architecture (Gleason grade) and nuclear structure that provide valuable prognostic information. Normal-appearing nuclei (NN) adjacent to cancer may also have altered functions in response to malignancy. We studied NN adjacent to peripheral zone (PZ) prostate cancer (PCa), as well as the PZ cancer nuclei (CaN) using quantitative image cytometry. The nuclear structure information was combined with routine pathological findings to predict metastatic PCa progression and/or death. Experimental Design: Tissue microarrays of normal-appearing and cancer areas were prepared from 182 pathologist-selected paraffin blocks. Feulgen-stained CaN and NN were captured from the tissue microarrays using the Auto-Cyte Pathology Workstation. Multivariate logistic regression was used to calculate quantitative nuclear grade (QNG) solutions based on nuclear morphometric descriptors determined from NN and CaN. Multivariate logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier plots were also used to predict risk for distant metastasis and/or PCa-specific death using QNG solutions and routine pathology. Results: The pathology model yielded an area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of 72.5%. The QNG-NN and QNG-CAN solutions yielded an area under the receiver operator characteristic curve of 81.6 and 79.9%, respectively, but used different sets of nuclear morphometric descriptors. Kaplan-Meier plots for the pathology variables, the QNG-NN and QNG-CaN solutions, were combined with pathology to defined three statistically significantly distinct risk groups for distant metastasis and/or death (P < 0.0001). Conclusions: Alterations in cancer or normal-appearing nuclei adjacent to peripheral zone cancer areas can predict PCa progression and/or death. The QNG-NN and QNG-CA solutions could be combined with pathology variables to improve the prediction of distant metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3465-3473
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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