Publications Search

Search for publications by author
Search for publications by abstract keyword(s)

Whole blood GRHL2 expression as a prognostic biomarker in metastatic hormone-sensitive and castration-resistant prostate cancer


Background: As potent systemic therapies transition earlier in the prostate cancer disease course, molecular biomarkers are needed to guide optimal treatment selection for metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). The value of whole blood RNA to detect candidate biomarkers in mHSPC remains largely undefined. Methods: In this cohort study, we used a previously optimised whole blood reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay to assess the prognostic utility [measured by seven-month undetectable prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and time to castration-resistance (TTCR)] of eight prostate cancer-associated gene transcripts in 43 mHSPC patients. Transcripts with statistically significant associations (P<0.05) were further investigated in a metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) cohort (n=119) receiving contemporary systemic therapy, exploring associations with PSA >50% response (PSA50), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Clinical outcomes were prospectively collected in a protected digital database. Kaplan-Meier estimates and multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models assessed associations between gene transcripts and clinical outcomes (mHSPC covariates: disease volume, docetaxel use and haemoglobin level; mCRPC covariates: prior exposure to chemotherapy or ARPIs, haemoglobin, performance status and presence of visceral disease). Follow-up was performed monthly during ARPI treatment, three-weekly during taxane chemotherapy, and three-monthly during androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) monotherapy. Serial PSA measurements were performed before each follow-up visit and repeat imaging was at the discretion of the investigator. Results: Detection of circulating Grainyhead-like 2 (GRHL2) transcript was associated with poor outcomes in mHSPC and mCRPC patients. Detectable GRHL2 expression in mHSPC was associated with a lower rate of seven-month undetectable PSA levels (25% vs. 65%, P=0.059), and independently associated with shorter TTCR (HR 7.3, 95% CI: 1.5-36, P=0.01). In the mCRPC cohort, GRHL2 expression predicted significantly lower PSA50 response rates (46% vs. 69%, P=0.01), and was independently associated with shorter PFS (HR 3.1, 95% CI: 1.8-5.2, P<0.001) and OS (HR 2.9, 95% CI: 1.6-5.1, P<0.001). Associations were most apparent in patients receiving ARPIs. Conclusions: Detectable circulating GRHL2 was a negative prognostic biomarker in our mHSPC and mCRPC cohorts. These data support further investigation of GRHL2 as a candidate prognostic biomarker in metastatic prostate cancer, in addition to expanding efforts to better understand a putative role in therapeutic resistance to AR targeted therapies.

Type Journal
ISBN 2223-4691 (Print) 2223-4683 (Linking)
Authors Kwan, E. M.; Fettke, H.; Crumbaker, M.; Docanto, M. M.; To, S. Q.; Bukczynska, P.; Mant, A.; Ng, N.; Foroughi, S.; Graham, L. K.; Haynes, A. M.; Azer, S.; Lim, L. E.; Segelov, E.; Mahon, K.; Davis, I. D.; Parente, P.; Pezaro, C.; Todenhofer, T.; Sathianathen, N.; Hauser, C.; Horvath, L. G.; Joshua, A. M.; Azad, A. A.
Publisher Name Translational Andrology and Urology
Published Date 2021-04-30
Published Volume 10
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 1688-1699
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.21037/tau-20-1444
URL link to publisher's version