Anti-inflammatory drugs, antioxidants, and prostate cancer prevention

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2009 Aug;9(4):419-26. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2009.06.002. Epub 2009 Jul 1.


Prostate cancer may be the most common preventable cancer among men in the United States (US) and the rest of the developed world. Emerging insights into the molecular pathogenesis of prostate cancer suggest that damage to the prostate epithelium, potentially inflicted by a variety of exposures, triggers procarcinogenic inflammatory processes to promote disease development. In this milieu, the damaged epithelium may generate proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA) lesions, which may progress to prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) or to prostate cancer. To attenuate prostatic carcinogenesis driven by chronic or recurrent prostate inflammation, rational chemoprevention has thus far featured anti-inflammatory drugs and antioxidants. Results from clinical trials of these approaches have been mixed, emphasizing the need for mechanistic studies of the contribution of inflammation to prostatic carcinogenesis, more extensive analyses of the pharmacology, including distribution of drugs into target tissue, and, rational development of biomarkers to identify patients that are most likely to respond to anti-inflammatory drugs and antioxidants (targeted chemoprevention), alone, or in combination (combination chemoprevention).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation Mediators / physiology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Inflammation Mediators