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Apoptosis In Hormone-responsive Malignancies.

S. Denmeade, D. McCloskey, I. B. Joseph, H. A. Hahm, J. Isaacs, N. Davidson
Published 1997 · Biology, Medicine

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Publisher Summary The breast and prostate cancer belong to the spectrum of hormone-related malignancies. So, this chapter seeks to review current knowledge about the role of programmed cell death in the normal development and function of the mammary and prostate glands, the carcinogenic process, and the prevention and therapy of breast and prostate cancers. Its suitability as a target for new therapies for both cancers is also explored. Although the focus of the chapter is on breast and prostate cancers, it seems likely that lessons learned from these two neoplasms is also of relevant to a variety of other epithelial malignancies. Breast and prostate represent two excellent model tissues in which to study the balance between cell proliferation and cell death in the normal setting. Research suggests that steroid hormones are key factors that promote proliferation and block death in both tissues. In addition, the pivotal role of programmed cell death in the normal lactational cycle of the breast has been identified. Furthermore, hormone-responsive breast and prostate cancers retain a similar programmed cell death pathway(s) that can be triggered by hormone withdrawal. Similar or identical pathways also exist in endocrine-unresponsive prostate and breast cancer cells even though hormonal manipulation is no longer capable of triggering these pathways. As the components of these pathways, their activators, and their inhibitors are delineated, these programmed cell death pathways provide opportunities for the development of new therapeutic approaches.
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