Computerized whole slide quantification shows increased microvascular density in pT2 prostate cancer as compared to normal prostate tissue

C.G. van Niekerk, J.A. W. M. van der Laak, M.E. Börger, H. Huisman, J. Alfred Witjes, J.O. Barentsz and C. A. Hulsbergen-van de Kaa

Prostate 2009;69:62-69



BACKGROUND Contrast enhanced imaging enables powerful, non-invasive diagnostics, important for detection and staging of early prostate cancer. The uptake of contrast agent is increased in prostate cancer as compared to normal prostate tissue. To reveal the underlying physiological mechanisms, quantification of tissue components in pathology specimens may yield important information. Aim of this study was to investigate whether microvascularity is increased in prostate confined cancer (pT2). METHODS: Radical prostatectomy specimens of 26 patients were selected for organ confined peripheral zone tumors which were restricted to one side of the prostate. Microvessels were visualized by immunohistochemistry against CD31. Specimens were scanned using a computer controlled microscope and scanning stage and vessels were recognized automatically. Pseudocolor mappings were produced showing number of vascular profiles (MVD), vascular area (MVA) and perimeter (MVP) in an overview of the entire prostate transection. MVD is a common measure for vascularity, whereas MVA represents the 3D vascular volume and MVP the perfused surface area. Mean, coefficient of variation and 75th percentile of these parameters were calculated automatically in manually indicated areas, consisting of the entire tumor area and the corresponding normal area in the contra lateral side of the prostate. RESULTS: The mappings clearly indicate areas of increased vascularity in prostate transections. In tumor tissue an increase was found compared to normal tissue of 81\%, 49\%, and 62\% for mean MVD, mean MVA and mean MVP, respectively (P < 0.001 for all comparisons). In contrast, the heterogeneity in tumor vasculature was significantly decreased as compared to normal prostate (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Characteristics of microvasculature deviated significantly in pT2 prostate tumor as compared to normal tissue.