Research Papers:

Expression of PSMA in tumor neovasculature of high grade sarcomas including synovial sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, undifferentiated sarcoma and MPNST

Birthe Heitkötter _, Marcel Trautmann, Inga Grünewald, Martin Bögemann, Kambiz Rahbar, Heidrun Gevensleben, Eva Wardelmann, Wolfgang Hartmann, Konrad Steinestel and Sebastian Huss

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:4268-4276. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13994

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Birthe Heitkötter1, Marcel Trautmann1, Inga Grünewald1, Martin Bögemann2, Kambiz Rahbar3, Heidrun Gevensleben4, Eva Wardelmann1, Wolfgang Hartmann1, Konrad Steinestel1 and Sebastian Huss1

1 Gerhard Domagk Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Münster, University of Münster, Germany

2 Department of Urology, University Hospital Münster, University of Münster, Germany

3 Department of Nuclear Medicine, University Hospital Münster, University of Münster, Germany

4 Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Bonn, University of Bonn, Germany

Correspondence to:

Birthe Heitkötter, email:

Keywords: PSMA, sarcoma, neovasculature, soft tissue tumor, therapy

Received: August 20, 2016 Accepted: November 30, 2016 Published: December 16, 2016


Aims: PSMA (prostate specific membrane antigen) is physiologically expressed in normal prostate tissue. It is overexpressed in prostate cancer cells and has been suggested as a target for antibody-based radioligand therapy. As PSMA expression so far has not been systematically analyzed in soft tissue tumors, the current study aims at investigating a large cohort of different subtypes.

Methods and Results: Immunohistochemistry was used to detect PSMA expression in 779 samples of soft tissue tumors and Ewing sarcoma as a primary bone malignancy. CD34 coexpression was employed to study PSMA expression in the neovasculature. PSMA expression was found in the tumor-associated neovasculature of 151/779 soft tissue/bone tumors (19.38%) and was more frequent in malignant tumors compared to tumors with intermediate or benign biological potential (p=0.078). Strong neovascular PSMA expression was predominantly observed in subsets of different sarcomas including 3/20 rhabdomyosarcomas (15%), 4/21 malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (19.05%), 6/16 synovial sarcomas (35.29%) and 6/33 undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas (18.18%).

Conclusion: We conclude that PSMA is expressed in the neovasculature of a subset of soft tissue tumors to a variable extent. Our observation of strong PSMA expression predominantly occurring in sarcomas might provide a rationale to evaluate PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy in these entities.

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