Volume 91, Issue 4 p. 315-324

Banking of fresh-frozen prostate tissue: methods, validation and use

First published: 06 August 2009
Citations: 31
R.Y. Ball, Department of Histopathology, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UY, UK.
e-mail: [email protected]


The question of banking of fresh frozen human prostatic tissue is addressed by a group of authors who have compared its value with what they call “pseudobanked” tissue. They then validate their methodology by a number of methods, including expression of hepsin, which they found to be significantly higher in malignant than in benign tissue. The theme of prostate cancer is continued by an English group looking at recent trends in the use of radical prostatectomy in England, and they make a number of interesting comments about this. Again in relation to prostate cancer, a group from Boston assess the use of steroids after prostate brachytherapy to reduce the risk of acute urinary retention.

Authors from McGill University, Montreal and Beth Israel in Boston, comment on the controversial areas of insulin-like growth factor and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and their role in the genesis of prostate cancer.

Other interesting areas such as testicular sparing surgery in testis cancer, and a comparison of hand-assisted laparoscopic versus open radical nephrectomy, are also described in this section.


To describe the establishment, methods, validation and use of a bank of fresh-frozen human prostate tissue.


On obtaining informed patient consent, protocols were followed for banking prostate tissue from any type of prostatectomy or cystoprostatectomy. A pseudobanking procedure was devised to determine the accuracy of assessing the histopathological status of the banked tissue. RNA was extracted, its quality assessed and used for quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction for the serine protease hepsin.


To date prostate tissue from 112 patients has been banked, with pseudobanking in 58. The histopathological assessment showed pseudobanked tissue matched adjacent unbanked tissue in 98% of cases for benign vs malignant diagnoses, and in 92% of carcinomas for the Gleason score. Hepsin expression was significantly higher in malignant than in benign tissues (P < 0.0001).


We established a validated method for banking human fresh-frozen prostate tissue and applied it successfully. Hepsin expression can be used to differentiate malignant and benign prostate tissue, and as an indicator of tissue heterogeneity.