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Cancer Res. 2006 Mar 15;66(6):3087-95.

Inhibition of interleukin-6 with CNTO328, an anti-interleukin-6 monoclonal antibody, inhibits conversion of androgen-dependent prostate cancer to an androgen-independent phenotype in orchiectomized mice.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.


Initially, prostate cancer is androgen dependent. However, most cases progress to an androgen-independent state through unknown mechanisms. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been associated with prostate cancer progression including activation of the androgen receptor (AR). To determine if IL-6 plays a role in the conversion of prostate cancer from androgen dependent to androgen independent, we established androgen-dependent LuCaP 35 human prostate cancer xenografts in nude mice, castrated the mice, and blocked IL-6 activity using a neutralizing antibody (CNT0328) for a period of 18 weeks. IL-6 inhibition increased survival of mice and inhibited tumor growth, as reflected by decreased tumor volume and prostate-specific antigen levels, compared with that in mice receiving isotype control antibody. To test the effect of IL-6 inhibition on the conversion from androgen dependent to androgen independent, tumor cells from the treated mice were assessed for their androgen dependence both in vitro and by implanting them into sham-operated or orchiectomized mice. Tumor cells derived from the isotype-treated animals converted to androgen-independent state, whereas tumor cells from the anti-IL-6 antibody-treated mice were still androgen dependent in vitro and in vivo. Although there was no difference in AR levels between the androgen-independent and androgen-dependent tumors, IL-6 inhibition promoted both apoptosis and inhibited cell proliferation in tumors and blocked the orchiectomy-induced expression of histone acetylases, p300 and CBP, which are AR cofactors. These data show that IL-6 contributes to the development of androgen independence in prostate cancer and suggest that it mediates this effect, in part, through modulation of p300 and CBP.

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