Thursday 24 February 2022 | 3:00 pm – Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA

Department of Data Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA

Characterization of Prostate Stroma Transcriptome

(Host S. Cacciatore)

Prostate cancer has a heterogeneous prognosis, and clinicians and researchers still lack definitive means to distinguish potentially lethal from indolent disease. Discovery of molecular biomarkers that improve the identification of indolent versus potentially lethal prostate cancer at diagnosis would enhance the ability to determine which patients would benefit more from immediate treatment and those who are better served by active surveillance. Studies of the association of gene expression with lethal prostate cancer have predominantly focused on the tumor epithelium; however, the prostate microenvironment has drawn increasing attention as a critical driver of cancer progression. Despite these important findings, characterization of stromal gene expression has been addressed only on a small scale.

We will discuss our previous findings from gene expression profiling of pure laser-capture microdissected stroma from a small collection of radical prostatectomy specimens and ongoing work where we profiled stromal gene expression in a large collection of radical prostatectomy specimens from the Physicians’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study Tumor Cohorts with long-term follow up and known lethality.

Throughout the talk we will emphasize challenges in the analysis of the gene expression data from archival formalin fixed paraffin embedded specimens.