Prostate cancer with Paneth cell-like neuroendocrine differentiation has recognizable histomorphology and harbors AURKA gene amplification
Park K., Chen Z., Macdonald TY., Siddiqui J., Ye H., Erbersdobler A., Shevchuk MM., Robinson BD., Sanda MG., Chinnaiyan AM., Beltran H., Rubin MA., Mosquera JM.
Aurora kinase A (AURKA) gene amplification has been documented in 67% of hormone-naive prostate cancer cases that progress to a highly aggressive variant of castrate-resistant disease, clinically referred to as "neuroendocrine" prostate cancer, "small cell" prostate carcinoma, or "anaplastic" prostate cancer. Therefore, AURKA amplification is a potential prognostic biomarker that may help to identify patients with prostate cancer who are at high risk for developing castrate-resistant disease with clinical features of small cell carcinoma. Furthermore, AURKA inhibitors are currently being tested in clinical trials. In a previous study, we found AURKA amplification in 6 cases of prostate cancer with Paneth cell-like cells. This morphologic pattern has been suggested to represent low-grade neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) with generally favorable prognosis. We sought to investigate the frequency of AURKA amplification and the histologic characteristics of prostate cancer with Paneth cell-like NED. Twenty-five cases from 172 prostatectomies were evaluated for the presence of 18 morphologic features and AURKA amplification. Most prostate cancers with Paneth cell-like NED had macronucleoli (92%), basophilic appearance (88%), perineural invasion (72%), and nuclear stratification (76%). The frequency of AURKA amplification was 45%, present throughout the examined tumor nodule including areas without Paneth cell-like cells. When histologically similar cases with and without AURKA amplification were compared, this gene alteration was associated with larger extent of Paneth cell-like NED identified at magnification ×20 (P =.015), higher percentage of Paneth cell-like NED throughout the tumor nodule (P =.033), ductal features (P =.02), and higher overall Gleason grade (P =.039). AURKA amplification was not associated with age, serum prostate specific antigen, or tumor stage. The high frequency of AURKA amplification (45%) in localized prostate cancer with Paneth cell-like NED and its potential prognostic significance warrant further investigation.