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Disease Markers
Volume 35, Issue 6, Pages 711–720
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/478303
Review Article

Mast Cells as a Potential Prognostic Marker in Prostate Cancer

1Department of Urology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, Rozzano, 20089 Milan, Italy
2Department of Pathology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, Rozzano, 20089 Milan, Italy
3Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta Street No. 20, 51 000 Rijeka, Croatia
4Laboratory of Molecular Gastroenterology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Via Manzoni 56, Rozzano, 20089 Milan, Italy

Received 30 June 2013; Accepted 7 October 2013

Academic Editor: Maddalena Ruggieri

Copyright © 2013 Gianluigi Taverna et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Despite years of intensive investigation that has been made in understanding prostate cancer, it remains one of the major men’s health issues and the leading cause of death worldwide. It is now ascertained that prostate cancer emerges from multiple spontaneous and/or inherited alterations that induce changes in expression patterns of genes and proteins that function in complex networks controlling critical cellular events. It is now accepted that several innate and adaptive immune cells, including T- and B-lymphocytes, macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, and mast cells (MCs), infiltrate the prostate cancer. All of these cells are irregularly scattered within the tumor and loaded with an assorted array of cytokines, chemokines, and inflammatory and cytotoxic mediators. This complex framework reflects the diversity in tumor biology and tumor-host interactions. MCs are well-established effector cells in Immunoglobulin-E (Ig-E) associated immune responses and potent effector cells of the innate immune system; however, their clinical significance in prostate cancer is still debated. Here, these controversies are summarized, focusing on the implications of these findings in understanding the roles of MCs in primary prostate cancer.