Hormonal Induction of Prostate Cancer in Laboratory Animals

With the exception of dogs and humans, spontaneously occurring prostate cancer is rare in most species [5-7,190]. It not understood why prostate cancer is so common in men whereas it is very rare in almost all other species. As indicated earlier, there are compelling reasons to implicate hormones, particularly androgenic and estrogenic steroids, in human prostate carcinogenesis. As will be demonstrated in the following sections, the same steroid hormones are also very powerful factors in the induction of prostate cancer in rodent species in which spontaneous prostate cancer is rare [17,56,191]. However, it is important first to point out that the various lobes of the rat prostate differ in their propensity to develop prostate carcinomas, either spontaneously or induced by carcinogens or hormones [17,190,191]. The rodent prostate, unlike the human or canine prostate, consists of distinct paired lobes - the ventral, dorsal, lateral, and anterior lobes; the dorsal and lateral lobes are often referred to as the dor-solateral prostate, and the anterior lobe is commonly called the coagulating gland. These lobes have merged into one gland in the human and canine prostate, in which different zones have been defined [192]. However, a homologue of the rodent ventral lobe is not present in the human gland [193].

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