Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the main players of prostate tumorigenesis thus; characterization of CSCs can pave the way for understanding the early detection, drug resistance, metastasis and relapse. The current study was conducted to evaluate the expression level and clinical significance of the potential CSC markers CD44 and CD133 in a series of prostate tissues. One hundred and forty eight prostate tissues composed of prostate cancer (PCa), high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) were immunostained for the putative CSC markers CD44 and CD133. Subsequently, the correlation between the expression of these markers and the clinicopathological variables was examined. A higher level of CD44 expression was observed in 42% of PCa, 57% of HGPIN, and 42% BPH tissues. In the case of CD133 expression PCa, HGPIN, and BPH samples demons t r a ted high immunoreactivity in 46%, 43%, and 42% of cells, respectively. Statistical analysis showed an inverse significant correlation between CD44 expression with Gleason score of PCa (P = 0.02), while no significant correlation was observed between CD133 expression and clinicopathological parameters. A significant reciprocal correlation was observed between the expression of two putative CSC markers CD44 and CD133 in PCa specimens while not indicating clinical significance. Further clinical investigation is required to consider these markers as targets of new therapeutic strategies for PCa.
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