Introduction and Objectives: The linked p16INK4/MTS1 and p15INK4B/MTS2 genes on chromosome 9p21 encode proteins that inhibit the cyclinD dependent kinases CDK4/6. Biallelic homozygous deletions involving this locus have been identified in a wide range of tumor cell lines, but in a lower frequency of primary tumors. As PCR based approaches analyzing for homozygous deletions could be confounded by unavoidable contributions of normal cells in microdissected tissue, we performed in situ hybridization (ISH) on primary prostate carcinomas to accurately evaluate p16 and p15 copy numbers on a cell–by–cell basis.Material and Methods: p16 and p15 loci were evaluated in 28 pT3N0M0 prostate cancer specimens. Of 28 patients, 15 (53%) were ascertained showing no recurrence (mean follow–up 61±17 months), 13 (47%) developed recurrences within 27±19 months. Tissues were provided for ISH analysis in a blinded fashion. Isolated DNA derived from P1 clone 1063 compromising p16 and p15 as well as a centromeric probe for chromosome 9 were used for hybridization. Signals were enumerated within 300 interphase nuclei per tumor specimen, and in 100 nuclei derived from 18 benign prostate tissues and 7 adjacent PIN regions.Results: ISH detected aneuploid tumors in 12/13 (92%) patients with recurrence and in 5/15 (33%) without recurrence (p<0.0014). Whereas 3/7 PIN specimens associated with nonrecurrent PCA demonstrated euploidy, all 4/7 PIN associated with recurrent disease demonstrated the same aneuploidy for chr9 as the primary tumor. All benign tissues evaluated exhibited euploidy for chr9, p16 and p15. None of the PCA and PIN samples revealed homozygous deletions for p16INK4/MTS1/p15INK4B/MTS2; 2/28 (7.1%) PCA exhibited partial deletion for p16INK4/MTS1/p15INK4B/MTS2 and aneuploidy for chr9; both PCA derived from the recurrent group.Conclusions: Deletion of 9p21 was rare and therefore such genetic alterations may not play an important role in the pathogenesis of PCA. Analysis of the limited number of PCA examined suggest a strong association between chr9 aneuploidy and recurrenct disease. Aneuploidy in both PIN and PCA suggests that the clinical outcome of PCA might already be determined in the preinvasive PIN.

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