- There is a growing body of evidence that the occurrence of neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation in prostate carcinoma correlates with poor prognosis, tumor progression, and androgen-independence. In the present study, the expression of common NE markers, i.e., chromogranin A (ChGA), serotonin (5HT), neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and adrenomedullin (AM), was retrospectively examined in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded prostate tissue samples obtained from patients with adenocarcinoma and from patients with nodular hyperplasia of the prostatic gland (NHPG) (33 and 28, respectively). The statistical analysis of the results (tested the equality of matched pairs of observations using the Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed ranks test) revealed a more prominent expression of ChGA in benign epithelial cells adjacent to adenocarcinomatic lesions (Peri-PAC) than in the adenocarcinoma (PAC) (p = 0.0049). A similar pattern of expression was detected for 5HT (p = 0.000). When comparing the expression of ChGA and 5HT in tissue samples originating in cancer patients with those obtained from NHPG samples, more ChGA and 5HT were expressed in Peri-PAC than in NHPG (p = 0.0004 and 0.002, respectively). The results obtained raise the possibility that adenocarcinoma cells urge some adjacent benign epithelial cells to differentiate into NE cells, which, in turn, may promote tumor growth and invasion.