ERG expression in prostate needle biopsy: Potential diagnostic and prognostic implications

Sandra L. Lee, Darryl Yu, Cheng Wang, Raya Saba, Shuhong Liu, Kiril Trpkov, Bryan Donnelly, Tarek A. Bismar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


To investigate the prognostic and diagnostic value of ERG immunohistochemistry (IHC) in prostate needle biopsy when combined with AMACR-CK5/6. ERG IHC was assessed in 119 consecutive prostate needle biopsies where the dual-stain AMACR-CK5/6 IHC was ordered and in 16 cases with a Gleason score (GS) ≥7. IHC results were evaluated in prostate carcinoma (PCA), high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), HGPIN with adjacent atypical glands (PINATYP), atypical/suspicious (ASAP) foci, and benign PCA mimickers. GS, HGPIN, extraprostatic extension, perineural invasion, bilateralism of PCA, largest percent of core, and the overall percent of tissue involved by PCA were recorded. ERG was detected in 36% of PCA, 27% of HGPIN, 13% of ATYP/ PINATYP, and none of benign mimickers. ERG-positive HGPIN was strongly associated with ERG-positive PCA in the same core compared with ERG-negative HGPIN (P<0.0001). Positive ERG expression in PCA was inversely related to GS and showed trends toward association with higher volume and bilateral disease. ERG was more specific for PCA than AMACR (0.87 vs. 0.23), but less sensitive (0.36 vs. 0.95). In conclusion, ERG IHC is of limited additional diagnostic value when added to AMACR and CK5/6. ERG expression is inversely related to GS and is associated with bilateral involvement and higher PCA tumor volume. ERG-positive HGPIN is strongly associated with the presence of PCA in the same core. Studies investigating the prognostic value of ERG in HGPIN should be implemented to address whether patients with ERG-positive HGPIN are at increased risk for subsequent PCA development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Diagnosis
  • ERG
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate biopsy
  • Prostate cancer


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