Prostate carcinogenesis and inflammation: emerging insights

Carcinogenesis. 2005 Jul;26(7):1170-81. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgh317. Epub 2004 Oct 21.


Prostate cancer remains a significant health concern for men throughout the world. Recently, there has developed an expanding multidisciplinary body of literature suggesting a link between chronic inflammation and prostate cancer. In support of this hypothesis, population studies have found an increased relative risk of prostate cancer in men with a prior history of certain sexually transmitted infections or prostatitis. Furthermore, genetic epidemiological data have implicated germline variants of several genes associated with the immunological aspects of inflammation in modulating prostate cancer risk. The molecular pathogenesis of prostate cancer has been characterized by somatic alterations of genes involved in defenses against inflammatory damage and in tissue recovery. A novel putative prostate cancer precursor lesion, proliferative inflammatory atrophy, which shares some molecular traits with prostate intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer, has been characterized. Here, we review the evidence associating chronic inflammation and prostate cancer and consider a number of animal models of prostate inflammation that should allow the elucidation of the mechanisms by which prostatic inflammation could lead to the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. These emerging insights into chronic inflammation in the etiology of prostate carcinogenesis hold the promise of spawning new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for men with prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors