Hormones and Prostate Cancer

Dr. Weeks’ Comment: Testosterone is not the only suspect…

Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2016;16(4):235-248. doi: 10.2174/1871530316666161130160144.

Hypoxia and Inflammation in Prostate Cancer Progression. Cross-talk with Androgen and Estrogen Receptors and Cancer Stem Cells.

Russo MA1Ravenna LPellegrini LPetrangeli ESalvatori LMagrone TFini MTafani M.A


Tumors are complex tissues in which transformed cells communicate with the surrounding microenvironment and evolve traits promoting their own survival and malignancy. Hypoxia and inflammation are constant characteristics of prostate tumor microenvironment influencing both cancer stem cells and differentiated tumor cells. HIFs and NF-kB are the key regulators of the transcriptional response to hypoxic and inflammatory stresses, respectively, and a crosstalk between HIFs and NF-kB pathways has been widely documented. Similarly, androgen and estrogen signaling, that play important roles in the growth and function of normal prostate gland, when deregulated, have a significant part in the acquisition of hallmarks of malignant diseases. Moreover, androgen and estrogen receptors have been shown to intersect with the HIF/NF-kB signaling in prostate cancer. Aim of this review is to present the current knowledge regarding the crucial role, in prostate cancer progression, of a molecular network linking hypoxia, pro-inflammatory response and steroid receptors.


Endocr Relat Cancer. 2008 Dec;15(4):841-9. doi: 10.1677/ERC-08-0084. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

Androgen receptor and growth factor signaling cross-talk in prostate cancer cells.

Zhu ML1Kyprianou N.


Androgens promote the growth and differentiation of prostate cells through ligand activation of the androgen receptor (AR). Sensitization of the androgenic response by multifunctional growth factor signaling pathways is one of the mechanisms via which AR contributes to the emergence of androgen-independent prostate tumors. The ability of AR to cross-talk with key growth factor signaling events toward the regulation of cell cycle, apoptosis, and differentiation outcomes in prostate cancer cells is established. In this paper, we review the functional interaction between AR and an array of growth factor signal transduction events (including epidermal growth factor; fibroblast growth factor; IGF1; vascular endothelial growth factor; transforming growth factor-beta) in prostate tumors. The significance of this derailed cross-talk between androgens and key signaling networks in prostate cancer progression and its value as a therapeutic forum targeting androgen-independent metastatic prostate cancer is discussed.

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