Endocrine disruptors and prostate cancer risk
journal contributionposted on 08.08.2009, 00:00 by Gail S. Prins
There is increasing evidence both from epidemiology studies and animal models that specific endocrine-disrupting compounds may influence the development or progression of prostate cancer. In large part, these effects appear to be linked primarily to interference with estrogen signaling, either through interacting with estrogen receptors (ERs) or by influencing steroid metabolism and altering estrogen levels within the body. In humans, epidemiologic evidence links specific pesticides, PCBs and inorganic arsenic exposures to elevated prostate cancer risk. Studies in animal models also show augmentation of prostate carcinogenesis with several other environmental estrogenic compounds including cadmium, UV filters and Bisphenol A. Importantly, there appears to be heightened sensitivity of the prostate to these endocrine disruptors during the critical developmental windows including in utero and neonatal time points as well as during puberty. Thus infants and children may be considered a highly susceptible population for ED exposures and increased risk of prostate cancers with aging.