Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is extensively used in prostate cancer. Yet the risk of impaired cognition or Alzheimer disease (AD) in men with prostate cancer receiving ADT is uncertain. Some studies of prostate cancer and ADT suggest that the risk of AD is not increased. But other studies have found an increased risk of AD and cognitive impairment.
As the uncertainty about ADT and dementia might relate to the genetics of prostate cancer and AD, the authors used the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to examine the relationship in men with prostate cancer between genes implicated in AD and genes implicated in prostate cancer.
The authors examined the genomics of 492 prostate cancer cases in the Genomic Data Commons (GDC) TCGA Prostate Cancer (PRAD) data set. To access and analyze the data, 2 web-based interfaces were used: (1) the UCSC Xena browser, a web-based visual integration and exploration tool for TCGA data, including clinical and phenotypic annotations; and (2) cBioportal, a web-based interface that enables integrative analysis of complex cancer genomics and clinical profiles.
Co-occurrence analysis indicates that alterations in the prostate cancer gene Speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) significantly co-occur with alterations in the AD gene BIN1 (P<0.001). The presence of somatic mutations (deleterious and missense/in frame) in SPOP deranges BIN1 gene expression. SPOP/BIN1 RNA gene expression in 492 prostate cancer specimens is significantly correlated (P<0.001). Increased expression of SPOP in 492 prostate cancers is associated with reduced survival (P=0.00275). Men receiving pharmacologic therapy had a tumor with a significantly higher Gleason score (P=0.023). Gleason score and BIN1 RNA gene expression, unit log2 (fragments per kilobase of transcript per million mapped reads upper quartile [FPKM-UQ]+1), in 499 prostate cancer specimens were significantly inversely correlated (P<0.001).
BIN1 forms part of a network that interacts with the MYC oncogene, activated at the earliest phases of prostate cancer and in its position on chr8q24 linked to disease aggressiveness. Dynamic regulation of the BIN1-Tau interaction is involved in AD. BIN1 loss in AD allows phosphorylated tau to be mis-sorted to synapses, which likely alters the integrity of the postsynapse, alongside reducing the functionally important release of physiological forms of tau. Alzheimer symptoms are usually preceded by a preclinical phase that may be 16 years long. The authors suggest that the ADT dosage reflects the severity of a process that is already underway. The severity is determined by the genetics of the tumor itself, at least in part by BIN1. ADT is not causing new cases of AD. The oncologist treats higher-grade prostate cancer with more ADT, which serves as a surrogate marker for disease severity. Our analysis of TCGA data does not support the idea that ADT causes AD or dementia.