Objectives Vasohibin-1 (VASH1) is an endogenous angiogenesis regulator expressed in activated vascular endothelial cells. We previously reported that high VASH1 expression is a predictor of progression in acinar adenocarcinoma of the prostate. In this study, we evaluated the characteristics of ductal adenocarcinoma of the prostate by comparing the level of VASH1 expression between ductal and acinar adenocarcinoma specimens. Design and setting A retrospective cohort study at two centres in Japan. Participants Among the 1495 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy or transurethral resection for the past 15 years, a total of 14 patients diagnosed with ductal adenocarcinoma and 20 patients diagnosed with acinar adenocarcinoma with a Gleason score of 4+4 were included. Interventions We immunohistochemically examined the CD34 expression as the microvessel density (MVD) and activated endothelial cells as the VASH1 density (vessels per mm2). Primary and secondary outcome measures The primary outcome was the association of MVD and VASH1 density between ductal and acinar adenocarcinoma, and the secondary outcome was their oncological outcomes. Results Nine patients (64.3%) with ductal adenocarcinoma were diagnosed at an advanced clinical stage, and five patients (35.7%) died from cancer during a median follow-up of 56.0 months. The VASH1 densities (mean±SD) in ductal and acinar adenocarcinoma were 45.1±18.5 vs 16.1±21.0 (p<0.001), respectively, while the MVD (mean±SD) in ductal and acinar adenocarcinoma were 65.3±21.9 vs 80.8±60.7 (p=0.666), respectively. The 5-year cancer-specific survival rates for high and low VASH1 expression were 70.0% and 100.0% (p=0.006), respectively. High VASH1 expression and a diagnosis of ductal adenocarcinoma were significant predictors of cancer-specific survival. Conclusions Ductal adenocarcinoma was more aggressive and had higher VASH1 expression than acinar adenocarcinoma, although MVD was equivalent. These results indicate that VASH1 expression may serve as a novel biomarker for the aggressive nature of ductal adenocarcinoma.
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