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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 281291, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Androgen Blockade on HER-2 and Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 Expression on Bone Marrow Micrometastasis and Stromal Cells in Men with Prostate Cancer

1Hospital de Carabineros of Chile, Simón Bolívar 2200 Ñuñoa, 7770199 Santiago, Chile
2Circulating Tumor Cell Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University Mayor, Renato Sánchez 4369, Las Condes, 27550224 Santiago, Chile
3Institute of Bio-Oncology, Avenida Salvador 95, Oficina 513, Providencia, 7500710 Santiago, Chile
4Universidad Diego Portales, Manuel Rodriguez Sur 415, 8370179 Santiago, Chile
5Foundation of Arturo López Pérez, Rancagua 878, Providencia, 7500921 Santiago, Chile

Received 31 January 2013; Accepted 4 April 2013

Academic Editors: R. Amato and S. Srinivas

Copyright © 2013 N. P. Murray 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.


Introduction. HER-2 has been associated with castrate resistant prostate cancer and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) in the dissemination and invasion of tumor cells as well as activating angiogenesis. We present an immunocytochemical study of the effect of androgen blockade on the expression of HER-2 and MMP-2 in bone marrow micrometastasis and the surrounding stromal cells in men with prostate cancer. Methods and Patients. A cross-sectional study of men with prostate cancer. Touch preps were obtained from bone marrow biopsies of men with prostate cancer, before and after radical prostatectomy and during androgen blockade. Micrometastasis detected with anti-PSA immunocytochemistry underwent processing with anti-HER-2 and anti-MMP-2 immunocytochemistry. Patients were defined as HER-2 positive or negative, MMP-2 negative or an MMP-2 pattern described as border or central and stromal MMP-2 defined as positive or negative. The expression of the biomarkers was compared before and after primary treatment and during androgen blockade in relation to the serum PSA at the time of sampling and duration of androgen blockade. Results. 191 men participated, 35 men before surgery and 43 after surgery; there were no significant differences in HER-2 expression between groups, there was no MMP-2 expression centrally or stromal expression of MMP-2. In men with androgen blockade, HER-2 expression was significantly higher; there was a trend for increasing HER-2 expression up to 5 years; central MMP-2 expression significantly increased after 3 years, while stromal MMP-2 significantly increased after 6 years. MMP-2 expression both in micrometastasis and stroma was significantly associated with HER-2 expression. Expression of MMP-2 at the border of the micrometastasis was not associated with HER-2 expression and occurred in the absence of androgen blockade. Conclusions. Androgen blockade decreases serum PSA by eliminating HER-2 negative prostate cancer cells. However, there is early selection of HER-2 positive cancer cells which leads to androgen independence and to increased expression of MMP-2 activity in the micrometastasis. The increased MMP-2 activity in the micrometastasis increases the expression of MMP-2 in the surrounding stromal cells and thus could promote angiogenesis and tumor growth resulting in macrometastatic androgen independent disease.