Prostate cancer: is it time to expand the research focus to early-life exposures?

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Mar;13(3):208-518. doi: 10.1038/nrc3434. Epub 2013 Jan 31.


Although the contribution of lifestyle and environment (non-genetic factors) to prostate carcinogenesis is indicated by international variation in prostate cancer occurrence and migration studies, no conclusive modifiable risk factors have yet been identified. One possible reason for this may be the dearth of epidemiological research on exposures experienced early in life, when the immature prostate may be more susceptible to carcinogenic exposures. In this Opinion article, we summarize the rationale for studying early-life exposures, describe the small body of early-life research and its associated challenges, and point to solutions for future research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Risk Factors