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Br J Cancer. 2007 Aug 6;97(3):378-83. Epub 2007 Jun 26.

Expression levels of the JAK/STAT pathway in the transition from hormone-sensitive to hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

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Section of Surgical and Translational Sciences, Division of Cancer Sciences and Molecular Pathology, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G31 2ER, UK.


The main cause of prostate cancer-related mortality is the development of hormone-refractory disease. Circulating serum levels of IL-6 are raised in hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients and evidence from cell line studies suggests that the IL-6R/JAK/STAT3 pathway may be involved in development of this disease. In the current study we investigate if expression levels of these family members are implicated in the development of hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Immunohistochemistry using IL-6R, JAK1, STAT3, pSTAT3(Tyr705) and pSTAT3(Ser727) antibodies was performed on 50 matched hormone-sensitive and hormone-refractory tumours pairs. An increase in expression of cytoplasmic IL-6 receptor, with the development of hormone-refractory prostate cancer was associated with reduced time to relapse (P=0.0074) while an increase in expression of cytoplasmic pSTAT3(Tyr705) was associated with reduced patient survival (P=0.0003). In addition, those patients with high expression of cytoplasmic pSTAT3(Tyr705) in their hormone-refractory tumours had significantly shorter time to death from biochemical relapse and overall survival in comparison to those patients with low expression of cytoplasmic pSTAT3(Tyr705) (P=0.002 and P=0.0027, respectively). Activation of STAT3, via phosphorylation is associated with reduced patient survival, suggesting that activation of the IL-6R/JAK/STAT3 pathway is involved with development of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

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