It has been previously shown that estrogens may exert their action on human breast cancer cells through coordinated control of secreted growth factors which act in an autocrine and paracrine fashion. Growth stimulation of the androgen receptor negative prostate carcinoma cell line DU-145 by dihydrotestosterone in the presence of the androgen-responsive human prostate carcinoma cell line LNCaP now indicates that androgens may regulate growth of prostate carcinoma cells through related mechanisms. A variety of androgen-regulated growth modulatory activities with autocrine and paracrine potential can be detected in conditioned media from LNCaP cells partially purified by ion exchange chromatography. Androgen-induced growth of LNCaP cells is partially inhibited by the polyanions suramin and dextran sulfates which antagonize growth factor action. These data suggest the existence of at least two different mechanisms of growth regulation by androgen which can be distinguished by their different sensitivity to growth factor inhibitory agents. We conclude that the combination of antipeptidergic substances and androgen withdrawal would represent a new and promising strategy for treatment of human prostate cancer.