TMPRSS2-ERG Fusion Heterogeneity in Multifocal Prostate Cancer: Clinical and Biologic Implications

Marc Barry, Sven Perner, Francesca Demichelis, Mark A. Rubin*

*Corresponding author for this work
135 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To characterize the clonality of TMPRSS2-ERG fusion in multifocal prostate cancer. Methods: From 80 consecutive radical prostatectomy specimens, we identified 32 cases with multiple spatially separate tumors. In each case, we assessed two to three tumor foci for TMPRSS2-ERG fusion using an ERG break-apart interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization assay. Results: Individual tumor foci showed homogeneity for fusion status (intrafocal clonal homogeneity). In 19 (59%) of the 32 cases, all foci within a case had the same fusion status (interfocal homogeneity). In 15 (80%) of the 19 cases, no foci had fusion, and in 4 (20%), all foci had fusion. Of the 32 cases, 13 (41%) demonstrated heterogeneity for fusion status within a case (interfocal clonal heterogeneity). Conclusions: In this study, we have demonstrated interfocal heterogeneity and intrafocal homogeneity for TMPRSS2-ERG fusion in prostate cancer with multiple tumors. These findings support the multiclonal nature of prostate cancer with clinical implications for needle biopsy strategies and the development of urine-based screening tests.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)630-633
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 10.2007


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