Inflammation in prostate cancer progression and therapeutic targeting

Timothy Stark, Lydia Livas, Natasha Kyprianou


Chronic inflammation contributes to the onset and progression of human cancer, via modifications in the tumor microenvironment by remodeling the extracellular matrix (ECM) and initiating epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). At the biological level, chronically inflamed cells release cytokines that are functionally dictating a constitutively active stroma, promoting tumor growth and metastasis. In prostate cancer, inflammation correlates with increased development of “risk factor” lesions or proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA). Chronic inflammation in benign prostate biopsy specimens can be associated with high-grade prostate tumors in adjacent areas. In this article, we discuss the current understanding of the incidence of inflammation in prostate cancer progression and the significance of the process in therapeutic targeting of specific inflammatory signaling pathways and critical effectors during tumor progression. Further understanding of the process of chronic inflammation in prostate tumor progression to metastasis will enable development and optimization of novel therapeutic modalities for the treatment of high-risk patients with advanced disease.