Hypoxia in prostate cancer: a powerful shield against tumour destruction?

Cancer Treat Rev. 2008 Jun;34(4):313-27. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2008.01.006. Epub 2008 Mar 10.


Tumour hypoxia is progressively emerging as a common feature of prostate tumours associated with poor prognosis. While the molecular basis of disease progression is increasingly well documented, the potential role of hypoxia in these processes remains poorly evaluated. By dissecting the impact of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha on molecular responses, this review provides evidence for a powerful protecting role of oxygen deprivation against oxidative stress injury, androgen deprivation, chemotherapeutic and radiation cytotoxicity. We propose hypoxia as a potent tumour-induced shield against destruction and suggest its targeting may need to be routinely addressed in the management of prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / metabolism
  • Apoptosis
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Cell Hypoxia*
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit / physiology*
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Androgens
  • Biomarkers
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit
  • Reactive Oxygen Species