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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to relate the expression, analyzed by Western blot and immunohistochemistry, of several pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, with serum levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in normal and pathologic (hyperplasia and cancer) prostate tissues to elucidate their possible role in tumor progression. We are also discussing the possible use of these cytokines as a potential therapeutic target. METHODS: The study was carried out in 5 normal, 25 benign prostatic hyperplastic (BPH) and 17 cancerous human prostates (PC). Immunohistochemical and Western blot analysis were performed. Serum levels of PSA were assayed by an immulite autoanalyzer. RESULTS: The most relevant results showed that in BPH, IL-1alpha, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were only expressed in patients with PSA serum levels of 0-4 or 4-20 ng/ml, but not in the group >20 ng/ml. In PC these cytokines were only expressed in patients with PSA serum levels >4 ng/ml. CONCLUSIONS: In PC there was an association between the high expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFalpha, IL-6, IL-1), elevated serum levels of PSA and cancer progression. A better understanding of the biologic mechanism of this association may provide new targets for therapy in these patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Detect Prev

Publication Date





23 - 32


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cytokines, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prostate-Specific Antigen, Prostatic Hyperplasia, Prostatic Neoplasms