Prostate AdenocarcinomaRSS

Last Updated: November 05, 2015

Sample Collection Complete Data Publicly Available
Selected Selected

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is a disease of the prostate, a walnut-size gland in the male reproductive system.  Nearly all prostate cancer is prostate adenocarcinoma.  Prostate cancer is graded based on its Gleason score, which is how the cells look under a microscope and ranges from two to ten. A low Gleason score means that the cancer tissue is similar to normal cells and unlikely to spread. A high Gleason score means that the cancer cells are very different from normal cells and are likely to spread. For patients whose cancer has spread, their survival time is usually one to three years. It was estimated that for 2011, 240,890 men would be diagnosed and 33,720 would die from prostate cancer1. View additional information on prostate cancer.

What have The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) researchers learned about prostate cancer?

  • Confirmed that prostate cancer is a highly heterogeneous cancer type, as 26 percent of prostate cancer tumors examined could not be categorized into a molecular subtype
  • Identified seven molecular subtypes of prostate cancer that describe the majority of the tumors examined (74 percent) and may improve prostate cancer classification
      • Four of the subtypes are characterized by cancer-driving gene fusions, new genes formed by two previously separate genes
      • Three of the subtypes are characterized by cancer-driving genetic mutations
      • Fusion-driven and mutation-driven cancers demonstrated different genomic profiles
  • Mapped genetic changes that represent potential targets for therapy
      • Genetic driver mutations SPOP and FOXA1 showed high levels of androgen receptor-mediated gene expression, suggesting that these subtypes may respond to targeting androgen, a male sex hormone that contributes to prostate cancer growth

See more about TCGA's study of prostate cancer

Read the TCGA prostate cancer paper in Cell

Where can I find more information about the TCGA Research Network’s studies or studies using TCGA data?

View a list of TCGA scientific publications.

Where can I find clinical trials to treat prostate cancer that are supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?

View a list of NCI-supported prostate cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients.

Selected References

1 American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2011. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2011.

2 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. (2011, August 31). Prostate Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved January 10, 2012 from the World Wide Web: