A review about the potential role of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the development and progression of prostate cancer entitled “The Role of the FSH System in the Development and Progression of Prostate” was published in The American Journal of Hematology/Oncology by Dr. E. David Crawford, the distinguished Professor of Surgery, Urology, and Radiation Oncology, and head of the Section of Urologic Oncology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and colleagues.
This study highlights the associations between FSH, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and other key players involved in prostatic cancer, that could help decide the most appropriate type of prostate cancer treatment.
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and its control of the gonadal endocrine system through the regulation of FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH) and the effects on androgens, estrogens and the ovulatory cycle, was discovered and described by Dr. Andrew Schally, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1977 due to his work in this research field, along with Dr. Roger Guillemin and Dr. Rosalyn Sussman Yalow.
In this review article, Dr. Crawford and colleagues review the different experimental evidences that reinforce the role of the FSH system in the development and progression of prostate cancer. These studies demonstrate that increased levels of FSH and FSH receptors are observed in benign and malignant prostate cells, and that there is an association between levels of FSH and the progression of prostate cancer.
The researchers note that the FSH system is regulated by several proteins, like inhibins, activins, follistatins, and RGS proteins, which are deregulated in cancer cells, with their levels directly related to the malignancy status of the cancer. Furthermore, high VEGF levels, which enhance angiogenesis and tumor growth, have been associated to abnormal FSH signaling.
Due to the different effects of GnRH/LHRH receptor agonists and antagonists on FSH levels, many researchers started to develop new, effective drugs, allosteric modulators and antagonists, such as ADX61623, as well as specific antibodies or drug immunoconjugates to specifically target the FSH receptor. A synergistic effort between biochemical and clinical research fields will help the development of the next generation of successful cancer treatments.
“Dr. Crawford and his team of distinguished colleagues leverage Dr. Schally’s research and lend insight to the role of follicle-stimulating hormone in prostate cancer, a potentially pivotal pathway that may open new avenues for prostate cancer therapy,” said Debu Tripathy, MD, editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Hematology/Oncology and professor of medicine and chair, Department of Breast Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in a press release. “We are privileged to publish their work and the advances it may bring to the understanding and ultimate treatment of prostate cancer.” added Dr. Tripathy.