Inflammation-associated pathologies in a case of prostate schistosomiasis: Implications for a causal role in prostate carcinogenesis

Lauren B. Peiffer, Sarah L. Poynton, Sarah E. Ernst, Jessica L. Hicks, Angelo M. De Marzo, Karen S. Sfanos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Urogenital infection with Schistosoma haematobium is a risk factor for the development of squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder. The pathophysiology is thought to be mediated in part by inflammation, cellular damage, and bladder regeneration induced by the parasitic infection. Herein, we report an unusual case of schistosomiasis of the prostate that was found concurrent with prostate adenocarcinoma in a radical prostatectomy specimen from a man in the United States. Methods: The infecting Schistosoma species was characterized via histomorphology and acid-fast stain. The concurrent Gleason score 6 prostate cancer was assessed for ETS transcription factor ERG (ERG), phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), p27, and p53 status using immunohistochemistry (IHC). Cellular proliferation and the presence of intermediate cells in prostatic atrophy were assessed via immunostaining for Ki67 and CK903, respectively. Results: Histomorphology and acid-fast stain of the infecting species were consistent with S. haematobium. We classified the Gleason score 6 prostate adenocarcinoma via IHC as ERG positive, PTEN intact, p27 intact, and without p53 nuclear accumulation. The prostatic epithelium immediately adjacent to the schistosomiasis-related granulomatous inflammation was atrophic and accompanied by increased cellular proliferation and the presence of intermediate cells. Upon literature review, we determined that prostate schistosomiasis is associated with a young age of prostate cancer diagnosis and highly aggressive prostate cancer. Conclusions: This is a rare case of prostate schistosomiasis in the United States; however, prostate schistosomiasis occurs frequently in endemic areas. The patient had traveled to a Schistosoma-endemic region, which was the likely location of exposure to the parasite. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the association of proliferative inflammatory atrophy and intermediate cells with schistosomiasis of the prostate. We propose that prostate schistosomiasis may be considered as a risk factor for the development of prostate cancer in geographic regions where Schistosoma species are endemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1316-1325
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Schistosoma haematobium
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • prostate cancer
  • schistosomiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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