Aberrations in circulating ceramide levels are associated with poor clinical outcomes across localised and metastatic prostate cancer

Hui Ming Lin, Kevin Huynh, Manish Kohli, Winston Tan, Arun A. Azad, Nicole Yeung, Kate L. Mahon, Blossom Mak, Peter D. Sutherland, Andrew Shepherd, Natalie Mellett, Maria Docanto, Corey Giles, Margaret M. Centenera, Lisa M. Butler, Peter J. Meikle, Lisa G. Horvath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Dysregulated lipid metabolism is associated with more aggressive pathology and poorer prognosis in prostate cancer (PC). The primary aim of the study is to assess the relationship between the plasma lipidome and clinical outcomes in localised and metastatic PC. The secondary aim is to validate a prognostic circulating 3-lipid signature specific to metastatic castration-resistant PC (mCRPC). Patients and methods: Comprehensive lipidomic analysis was performed on pre-treatment plasma samples from men with localised PC (N = 389), metastatic hormone-sensitive PC (mHSPC)(N = 44), or mCRPC (validation cohort, N = 137). Clinical outcomes from our previously published mCRPC cohort (N = 159) that was used to derive the prognostic circulating 3-lipid signature, were updated. Associations between circulating lipids and clinical outcomes were examined by Cox regression and latent class analysis. Results: Circulating lipid profiles featuring elevated levels of ceramide species were associated with metastatic relapse in localised PC (HR 5.80, 95% CI 3.04–11.1, P = 1 × 10−6), earlier testosterone suppression failure in mHSPC (HR 3.70, 95% CI 1.37–10.0, P = 0.01), and shorter overall survival in mCRPC (HR 2.54, 95% CI 1.73–3.72, P = 1 × 10−6). The prognostic significance of circulating lipid profiles in localised PC was independent of standard clinicopathological and metabolic factors (P < 0.0002). The 3-lipid signature was verified in the mCRPC validation cohort (HR 2.39, 95% CI 1.63–3.51, P = 1 × 10−5). Conclusions: Elevated circulating ceramide species are associated with poorer clinical outcomes across the natural history of PC. These clinically actionable lipid profiles could be therapeutically targeted in prospective clinical trials to potentially improve PC outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-870
Number of pages11
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sept 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology
  • Cancer Research

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