Prostate Hypoxia - TIC

Official Title

Hypoxia and Stem Cell Content as Aggression Factors in Prostate Cancer


Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in Canadian men. In 2006, greater than 250,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the United States and Canada with more than 32,000 men dying of their disease. Using the prognostic variables of T-category, the serum prostate specific antigen (PSA), and the pathologic Gleason score (GS), men with localized prostate cancer are placed in low, intermediate and high-risk groupings. Usually this is treated with surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy and/or watchful waiting (also known as active surveillance). While these treatments are quite effective, tumours are likely to recur in about 40% of cases. There is a need for additional prostate cancer treatments. To address this need, many experimental therapies are being developed and tested in mice with prostate tumours. This includes the study of aggressive prostate cancer cells such as stem cells, or Tumour Initiating Cells (TICs), or oxygen deprived cells, which may be the ones most likely to re-grow into a tumour or spread throughout the body. Researchers want to try and isolate these special cells from the prostate after surgery to study their features, and to see if they can re-grow as solid tumours in mice. Researchers would like to test whether the prostate cancer stem cells are more resistant or less resistant to treatments. This will allow researchers to study and test new treatments that specifically target resistant and aggressive prostate cancer cells. The investigators hypothesize that marker-defined TIC cells or hypoxic cancer cells have unique genetics in primary prostate cancers and are relatively chemo- and radio-resistant.

Trial Description

Primary Outcome:

  • Quantitation of pimonidazole staining (a.u./cm2) in radical prostatectomy specimens as determinant of biochemical failure
Secondary Outcome:
  • Quantitation of tumour initial cells by immunohistochemistry (cells/mm2) in radical prostatectomy specimens as determinant of biochemical failure

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Canadian Cancer Society

These resources are provided in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society