Prostate cancer and prostatic diseases

Carbonic anhydrase IX expression in prostate cancer.

PMID 20038959


Tumour hypoxia is associated with over 70% of solid tumours including prostate and colorectal cancer. Hypoxia promotes tumour progression and resistance to treatment. Carbonic anhydrase IX (CA IX) is an endogenous marker of hypoxia. It is expressed in lung and renal cell carcinomas and is associated with a poor prognosis. CA IX has an important role in maintaining pH levels in the highly metabolically active cancer cell. The expression of CA IX in prostate cancer has not previously been investigated. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine CA IX expression in 59 patients, using tissue microarrays (TMAs) and full sections of BPH, surrounding stroma and prostate adenocarcinoma. Cores reviewed included 189 BPH, 130 Gleason grade 3, 93 Gleason grade 4, 40 Gleason grade 5. CA IX expression in colorectal cancer and HIF 1alpha in prostate cancer acted as positive controls. There was only occasional cell staining for CA IX expression. Although prostate cancer is a hypoxic tumour it does not express CA IX. This implies it relies on alternative pathways for maintaining pH balance in cancer. These studies would indicate that CA IX is not a suitable marker of hypoxia in prostate cancer.