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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 2847303, 8 pages
Research Article

Neovascular Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen Expression Is Associated with Improved Overall Survival under Palliative Chemotherapy in Patients with Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

1Gerhard-Domagk-Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany
2Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology, Bundeswehrkrankenhaus Ulm, Ulm, Germany
3Department of Medicine A, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Konrad Steinestel; moc.letseniets@darnok

Received 29 May 2017; Revised 2 September 2017; Accepted 3 October 2017; Published 25 October 2017

Academic Editor: Li Jiao

Copyright © 2017 Katharina Stock et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aims. Expression of PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen) has been demonstrated in various cancers, including pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, PSMA expression in PDAC-associated neovasculature has so far not been systematically analyzed. Methods and Results. We analyzed PSMA expression in 81 PDAC tissue samples from 61 patients. Microvessel density (MVD) was assessed by software-based image analysis and showed a mean MVD of 63.7 microvessels/0.785 mm2. PSMA was practically absent in tumor tissue (5.3%) and PDAC cell lines (0/7) but could be detected in tumor-associated neovasculature in 53.2% of cases. There was no association between neovascular PSMA expression and clinicopathological tumor characteristics. Samples with PSMA+ neovasculature showed increased MVD; however, this result was not statistically significant (). Presence of PSMA+ neovessels correlated with overall survival under palliative chemotherapy (894 versus 400 days; HR 0.42; 95% CI: 0.12 to 0.87; ). Conclusion. PSMA expression in tumor-associated neovasculature is a common feature and associated with improved overall survival under palliative chemotherapy in PDAC. Our results point towards a possible association between PSMA expression and response to therapy which might be based on enhanced intratumoral bioavailability of systemic chemotherapy.