Effect of stress hormone on prostate cancer cells growth, migration, and invasion
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In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death. Therefore, further understanding of this disease and the development for more therapeutic approaches is crucial. Stress is known to have effects on cancer, and the stress hormone cortisol is thought to be responsible for some of these effects. This report examined the impact cortisol has on growth, migration, and invasion of prostate cancer cells. Our results showed that in both African Americans and Caucasian Americans, serum-cortisol levels were highest in metastatic prostate cancer, followed by primary prostate cancer, and then normal subjects. These results suggest that men with more advanced prostate cancers tend to have higher cortisol levels. The African American cortisol levels were higher than their respective Caucasian American group. The addition of cortisol increased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in African American and Caucasian American cell lines. GR was expressed in the prostate cancer cell lines, and the GR responded to cortisol in these cell lines. When a patient learns that they have prostate cancer, that person's stress will likely increase, leading to more cortisol secretion, which in turn may cause further progression of their cancer. This is why stress-relieving practices have become a popular therapeutic approach to combating the consequences of stress on individuals. While our experiments do not provide evidence of cortisol causing prostate cancer onset or progression, it still indicates the effect cortisol may have on making prostate cancer more aggressive. In addition these data suggest the possibility of using a patient's cortisol level as one indicator of the seriousness of their prostate cancer.