Our previous work demonstrated the epithelial-mesenchymal transition factor, Snail, is a potential marker for predicting the recurrence of localized prostate cancer (PCa). Akt activation is important for Snail stabilization and transcription in PCa. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively investigate the relationship between the phosphorylated level of Akt (p-Akt) in radical prostatectomy (RP) specimens and cancer biochemical recurrence (BCR). Using a tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry, the expression of p-Akt was measured in benign and neoplastic tissues from RP specimens in 53 patients whose cancer was pathologically defined as T2 without positive margins. Herein, we observed that the p-Akt level was higher in PCa than in benign tissues and was significantly associated with the Snail level. A high p-Akt image score (≥8) was significantly correlated with a higher histological Gleason sum, Snail image score, and preoperative prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value. Moreover, the high p-Akt image score and Gleason score sum (≥7) showed similar discriminatory abilities for BCR according to a receiver-operator characteristic curve analysis and were correlated with worse recurrence-free survival according to a log-rank test (p < 0.05). To further determine whether a high p-Akt image score could predict the risk of BCR, a Cox proportional hazard model showed that only a high p-Akt image score (hazard ratio (HR): 3.12, p=0.05)and a high Gleason score sum (≥7)(HR:1.18,p=0.05)butnotahighpreoperativePSA value (HR: 0.62, p = 0.57) were significantly associated with a higher risk of developing BCR. Our data indicate that, for localized PCa patients after an RP, p-Akt can serve as a potential prognostic marker that improves predictions of BCR-free survival.
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