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  • Clinical Oncology/Epidemiology
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Clinical Oncology/Epidemiology

Induction of transforming growth factor beta in hormonally treated human prostate cancer


Transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta 1) has been proposed as a mediator of tumour growth in a number of tumours and cell lines including prostate, and in a recent study was shown to be up-regulated in the stroma of breast cancer tissue following treatment with the anti-oestrogen tamoxifen. Immunolocalisation of the intracellular form of TGF-beta 1 confirmed that the source of the stromal TGF-beta 1 was the peritumoral fibroblasts. We present here the results of a study in which five patients with hormonally unresponsive prostatic carcinoma and seven patients responding to a luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue had prostate biopsies taken before and during treatment. These were stained for TGF-beta expression prior to treatment and at either relapse or 3 months later respectively. Six of seven clinically responding tumours and three of five relapsed tumours showed up-regulation of extracellular TGF-beta 1, again primarily in the stroma, with no apparent up-regulation of intracellular TGF-beta 1, TGF-beta 2 or TGF-beta 3. These data illustrate that the epithelial growth inhibitor TGF-beta 1 can be induced by hormonal manipulation in prostate cancer in vivo, and may continue to be up-regulated even after relapse. This suggests that relapse of hormonally treated prostate cancer may be associated with a failure of the epithelium to respond to stromal TGF-beta 1.

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Muir, G., Butta, A., Shearer, R. et al. Induction of transforming growth factor beta in hormonally treated human prostate cancer. Br J Cancer 69, 130–134 (1994).

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