Purpose: Since PSA is not well associated with prostate cancer, there is a need in finding new more specific biomarkers for the diagnosis and/or follow-up prostate cancer patients. We have investigated the expression of telomerase activity and hepsin gene expressions in different prostate cancer tissues from Romanian patients. Prostate cancer diagnosis was revealed by total prostate-specific antigen levels and pathological assessments.
Patients and methods: We have selected 38 patients with proven biopsy prostate cancer (8 patients with metastasis and 30 patients without metastasis) and 20 patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. The average age was 66.5 year in patients with PCa and 55.8 years in patients with BPH. Telomerase activity was analyzed with TRAPEzE ELISA Telomerase Detection (Millipore). Hepsin gene expression was revealed by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction methodology.
Results: Our preliminary data showed that in all patients with proven prostate cancer metastasis both high telomerase activity and hepsin genes overexpression were found. 30% of patients with BPH had different grades of telomerase activity while the rest of them had no telomerase activity. In 3 patients with normal PSA levels, we have noticed an increased telomerase activity.
Conclusion: Telomerase activity and hepsin genes expressions could be linked with local invasion and metastasis of prostate cancer. We think that the level of telomerase activity and hepsin gene expression could be considered a valuable prognostic biomarker in the outcome of Romanian patients with prostate cancer.