Unbiased data mining identifies cell cycle transcripts that predict non-indolent Gleason score 7 prostate cancer
Patients with newly diagnosed non-metastatic prostate adenocarcinoma are typically classified as at low, intermediate, or high risk of disease progression using blood prostate-specific antigen concentration, tumour T category, and tumour pathological Gleason score. Classification is used to both predict clinical outcome and to inform initial management. However, significant heterogeneity is observed in outcome, particularly within the intermediate risk group, and there is an urgent need for
... urgent need for additional markers to more accurately hone risk prediction. Recently developed web-based visualization and analysis tools have facilitated rapid interrogation of large transcriptome datasets, and querying broadly across multiple large datasets should identify predictors that are widely applicable. Methods: We used camcAPP, cBioPortal, CRN, and NIH NCI GDC Data Portal to data mine publicly available large prostate cancer datasets. A test set of biomarkers was developed by identifying transcripts that had: 1) altered abundance in prostate cancer, 2) altered expression in patients with Gleason score 7 tumours and biochemical recurrence, 3) correlation of expression with time until biochemical recurrence across three datasets (Cambridge, Stockholm, MSKCC). Transcripts that met these criteria were then examined in a validation dataset (TCGA-PRAD) using univariate and multivariable models to predict biochemical recurrence in patients with Gleason score 7 tumours. Results: Twenty transcripts met the test criteria, and 12 were validated in TCGA-PRAD Gleason score 7 patients. Ten of these transcripts remained prognostic in Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7, a sub-group of Gleason score 7 patients typically considered at a lower risk for poor outcome and often not targeted for aggressive management. All transcripts positively associated with recurrence encode or regulate mitosis and cell cycle-related proteins. The top performer was BUB1, one of four key MIR145-3P microRNA targets upregulated in hormone-sensitive as well as castration-resistant PCa. SRD5A2 converts testosterone to its more active form and was negatively associated with biochemical recurrence. Conclusions: Unbiased mining of large patient datasets identified 12 transcripts that independently predicted disease recurrence risk in Gleason score 7 prostate cancer. The mitosis and cell cycle proteins identified are also implicated in progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer, revealing a pivotal role for loss of cell cycle control in the latter.