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Quantitative real-time RT-PCR of CD24 mRNA in the detection of prostate cancer

M Schostak1*, H Krause1, K Miller1, M Schrader1, S Weikert1, F Christoph1, C Kempkensteffen1 and J Kollermann2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Germany

2 Department of Urology, Klinikum Fulda, Germany

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BMC Urology 2006, 6:7  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-6-7

Published: 15 March 2006



Gene expression profiling has recently shown that the mRNA for CD24 is overexpressed in prostate carcinomas (Pca) compared to benign or normal prostate epithelial tissues. Immunohistochemical studies have reported the usefulness of anti-CD24 for detecting prostate cancer over the full range of prostate specimens encountered in surgical pathology, e.g. needle biopsies, transurethral resection of prostate chips, or prostatectomies. It is a small mucin-like cell surface protein and thus promises to become at least a standard adjunctive stain for atypical prostate biopsies. We tested the usefulness of real-time RT-PCR for specific and sensitive detection of CD24 transcripts as a supplementary measure for discriminating between malignant and benign lesions in prostatic tissues.


Total RNA was isolated from snap-frozen chips in 55 cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and from frozen sections in 59 prostatectomy cases. The latter contain at least 50% malignant epithelia. Relative quantification of CD24 transcripts was performed on the LightCycler instrument using hybridization probes for detection and porphobilinogen deaminase transcripts (PBGD) for normalization.


Normalized CD24 transcript levels showed an average 2.69-fold increase in 59 Pca-cases (mean 0.21) when compared to 55 cases of BPH (mean 0.08). This difference was highly significant (p < 0.0001). The method has a moderate specificity (47.3%) but a high sensitivity (86.4%) if the cutoff is set at 0.0498. CD24 expression levels among Pca cases were not statistically associated with the tumor and lymph-node stage, the grading (WHO), the surgical margins, or the Gleason score.


The present study demonstrates the feasibility of quantitative CD24 RNA transcript detection in prostatic tissues even without previous laser microdissection.