DURHAM, NC — How effective are circulating inflammatory markers such as monocyte counts for predicting prostate cancer outcomes? Not very, according to a study of veterans.

The report in Cancer Causes & Control pointed to recent research indicating that higher peripheral blood monocyte counts were associated with aggressive prostate cancer in Asian men undergoing radical prostatectomy (RP). In light of that, Durham, NC, VAMC-led researchers investigated whether peripheral monocyte count can predict long-term PC outcomes after RP in Black and white men.1

To do that, researchers retrospectively reviewed data on 2,345 men undergoing RP from 2000 to 2017 at eight VA hospitals. Of those, 41% were Black, and 59% were white.

Collecting data on monocyte count within six and 12 months prior to surgery, the study team looked for biochemical recurrence (BCR), castration-resistant PC (CRPC), metastasis, all-cause mortality (ACM) and PC-specific morality (PCSM).

In multivariable analyses, researchers said they found no associations between monocyte count and BCR among all men (HR: 1.36, 95%CI 0.90-2.07) or when analyses were stratified by race (HR: 1.30, 95%CI 0.69-2.46, in Black men; HR:1.33, 95%CI 0.76-02.33, in white men). Likewise, no overall or race-specific associations were found between monocyte count and CRPC, metastases, ACM, and PCSM, all p ≥ 0.15. Results were similar for monocyte count measured at 12 months prior to RP.

“In Black and white PC patients undergoing RP, peripheral monocyte count was not associated with long-term PC outcomes,” the authors wrote. “Contrary to what was found in Asian populations, monocyte count was not associated with PC outcomes in this study.”

  1. Yirga A, Oyekunle T, Howard LE, De Hoedt AM, Cooperberg MR, Kane CJ, Aronson WJ, Terris MK, Amling CL, Taioli E, Fowke JH, Klaanssen Z, Freedland SJ, Vidal AC. Monocyte counts and prostate cancer outcomes in white and black men: results from the SEARCH database. Cancer Causes Control. 2021 Feb;32(2):189-197. doi: 10.1007/s10552-020-01373-2. Epub 2021 Jan 4. PMID: 33392907.