Intermittent androgen suppression delays progression to androgen-independent regulation of prostate-specific antigen gene in the LNCaP prostate tumour model

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1996 May;58(2):139-46. doi: 10.1016/0960-0760(96)00018-0.


In most patients with prostate cancer, continuous androgen suppression (CAS) therapy causes tumour regression and an accompanying decrease in serum prostate specific antigen (PSA). However, with tumour progression, regulation of both tumour growth and PSA gene expression becomes androgen-independent. Because androgen resistance develops, in part, from adaptive cell survival mechanisms activated by androgen withdrawal, we hypothesize that intermittent re-exposure to androgens may prolong time to androgen-independent progression. The objective of this study was to determine whether intermittent androgen suppression (IAS) could delay the onset of androgen-independent PSA gene regulation in LNCaP prostate tumour model when compared to CAS. Five or six cycles of IAS were possible before progression developed. IAS prolonged time to androgen-independent PSA gene regulation from an average of 26 days in CAS to 77 days in IAS. Serum PSA increased above pre-castrate levels in all mice treated with CAS by 28 days post-castration, but remained below pre-castrate levels in 75% of IAS-treated mice by 60 days post-castration. By 15 weeks post-castration, serum PSA levels increased 7-fold above pre-castrate levels in CAS-treated mice compared to 1.9-fold increase in IAS-treated mice. PSA mRNA expression levels highly correlated with serum PSA levels in both groups. Maintenance of androgen dependency through IAS may be due to androgen-induced differentiation and/or down-regulation of androgen-suppressed gene expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Androgens / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / genetics
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Testosterone / metabolism
  • Testosterone / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Androgens
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Testosterone
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen