Department of Urology, Sant'Andrea Hospital, University "La Sapienza," Rome, Italy.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common cancer in the adult male, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) represents the most frequent urologic diagnosis in elderly males. Recent data suggest that prostatic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis and progression of both conditions.
This review aims to evaluate the available evidence on the role of prostatic inflammation as a possible common denominator of BPH and PCa and to discuss its possible clinical implication for the management, prevention, and treatment of both diseases.
The National Library of Medicine Database was searched for the following Patient population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcome (PICO) terms: male, inflammation, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, diagnosis, progression, prognosis, treatment, and prevention. Basic and clinical studies published in the past 10 yr were reviewed. Additional references were obtained from the reference list of full-text manuscripts.
The histologic signature of chronic inflammation is a common finding in benign and malignant prostate tissue. The inflammatory infiltrates are mainly represented by CD3(+) T lymphocytes (70-80%, mostly CD4), CD19 or CD20 B lymphocytes (10-15%), and macrophages (15%). Bacterial infections, urine reflux, dietary factors, hormones, and autoimmune response have been considered to cause inflammation in the prostate. From a pathophysiologic standpoint, tissue damage associated with inflammatory response and subsequent chronic tissue healing may result in the development of BPH nodules and proliferative inflammatory atrophy (PIA). The loss of glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) may be responsible in patients with genetic predisposition for the transition of PIA into high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) and PCa. Although there is growing evidence of the association among inflammatory response, BPH, and PCa, we can only surmise on the immunologic mechanisms involved, and further research is required to better understand the role of prostatic inflammation in the initiation of BPH and PCa. There is not yet proof that targeting prostate inflammation with a pharmacologic agent results in a lower incidence and progression or regression of either BPH or PCa.
Evidence in the peer-reviewed literature suggested that chronic prostatic inflammation may be involved in the development and progression of chronic prostatic disease, such as BPH and PCa, although there is still no evidence of a causal relation. Inflammation should be considered a new domain in basic and clinical research in patients with BPH and PCa.
De Nunzio C, Kramer G, Marberger M, Montironi R, Nelson W, Schröder F, Sciarra A, Tubaro A. Are you the author?
Reference: Eur Urol. 2011 Apr 9. Epub ahead of print.