Growth factors and their receptors as determinants in the proliferation and metastasis of human prostate cancer

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1993 Sep;12(3-4):287-301. doi: 10.1007/BF00665959.


Prostate adenocarcinoma, the most common tumor occurring among North American men, preferentially metastasizes to bone, where it characteristically forms osteoblastic lesions. The following growth regulatory factors are expressed in some human prostate cancers and/or established cell lines: epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor alpha, transforming growth factor beta, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and insulin-like growth factor. Some of these, especially EGF, bFGF, and TGF-beta, are also implicated in growth regulation in normal and benign hyperplastic prostates. Although evidence from in vitro study of the small number of prostate cell lines available demonstrates that these growth regulatory pathways are exploited by some of these cells, direct in vivo evidence is limited. The development of human prostate cancer cell lines which grow and metastasize in immune-deficient rodents is an advance which now permits experimental analysis of the role of these growth factors in prostatic metastasis, particularly to bone. The progression and metastasis of human prostate cancer results from the complex interactions of multiple growth factors, androgens, and cellular communication, which form a dynamic network. Continued progress in the study and treatment of this disease will require new conceptual frameworks as well as successful application of the techniques of molecular and cellular biology.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Rats
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / physiology*


  • Growth Substances
  • Receptors, Growth Factor