A newly developed method of comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) employing quantitative statistical comparisons was applied to DNA from two different types of advanced prostate cancer tissue. Multiple CGH analyses were obtained for each chromosome in each tumor, and the results of point-by-point comparison of the mean tumor:normal color ratio to a control normal:normal color ratio in each of 1247 evenly distributed data channels constituting the entire human genome were interpreted as loss, gain, or no change in copy number in the tumor genome. Group I tissue was obtained from prostate cancer metastases from 20 patients, 19 of whom had received no prior prostate cancer treatment. This DNA also was analyzed by Southern and microsatellite allelotyping at 53 different loci on 20 different chromosome arms. CGH results agreed with allelotyping results at 92% of the informative loci studied. These samples, which contained highly enriched tumor DNA, showed the highest rates of alteration yet reported in several chromosomal regions known to be altered frequently in prostate cancer: 8q gain (85%), 8p loss (80%), 13q loss (75%), 16q loss (55%), 17p loss (50%), and 10q loss (50%). Group II tissue was obtained predominately from primary or recurrent tumor from 11 patients who had been treated with long-term androgen-deprivation therapy and developed androgen-independent metastatic disease. Quantitative CGH analysis on DNA from these tissues showed chromosomal alterations that were very similar to those found in group I, suggesting that untreated metastatic tumors contain the bulk of chromosomal alterations necessary for recurrence to occur during androgen deprivation. In the entire data set, a number of previously undetected regions of frequent loss or gain were identified, including losses of chromosomes 2q (42%), 5q (39%), 6q (39%), and 15q (39%) and gains of chromosomes 11p (52%), 1q (52%), 3q (52%), and 2p (45%). x2 analysis showed a significantly higher frequency of gain of the 4q25–q28 region in tumors from African-American patients, indicating a possible oncogene whose activation may play a role in the higher rate of progression seen in this ethnic group. Additional study of these frequently altered regions may provide insight into the mechanism of prostate cancer progression and lead to important tools for tumor-specific prognosis and therapy.


This work supported by NCI Grants CA59457, CA58236, and the Association for the Cure of Cancer of the Prostate (CaP CURE). M. L. C. was supported by the American Foundation for Urological Disease with funds provided by TAP Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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