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Volume 16, Issue 3 (May 2014) 16, 354–358; 10.4103/1008-682X.125392

Glucocorticoids and prostate cancer treatment: friend or foe?

Bruce Montgomery1 Heather H. Cheng1 James Drechsler2 Elahe A. Mostaghel1,3

1Department of Medicine, University of Washington,
2Seattle Cancer Care Alliance,
3Division of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle WA, USA

Correspondence: Dr. B Montgomery (rbmontgo@uw.edu)

Received: 29 October 2013; Revised: 26 December 2013; Accepted: 27 December 2013


Glucocorticoids have been used in the treatment of prostate cancer to slow disease progression, improve pain control, and offset side effects of chemo- and hormonal therapy. However, they may also have the potential to drive prostate cancer growth via mutated androgen receptors or glucocorticoid receptors. In this review we examine historical and contemporary use of glucocorticoids in the treatment of prostate cancer, review potential mechanisms by which they may inhibit or drive prostate cancer growth, and describe potential means of defining their contribution to the biology of prostate cancer.

Keywords: androgen receptor; dihydrotestosterone; glucocorticoid receptor; glucocorticoids; prostate cancer; steroids; testosterone

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