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Prostate Cancer
Volume 2012, Article ID 128965, 8 pages
Review Article

Paradoxical Roles of Tumour Necrosis Factor-Alpha in Prostate Cancer Biology

1Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
2Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Cells and Tissue Domain, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4059, Australia
3Department of Medicine, St. George Hospital Clinical School, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2217, Australia

Received 26 September 2012; Accepted 19 November 2012

Academic Editor: Jostein Halgunset

Copyright © 2012 Brian W. C. Tse 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.


Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) is a pleiotropic cytokine with dual roles in cancer biology including prostate cancer (PCa). On the one hand, there is evidence that it stimulates tumour angiogenesis, is involved in the initiation of PCa from an androgen-dependent to a castrate resistant state, plays a role in epithelial to mesenchymal plasticity, and may contribute to the aberrant regulation of eicosanoid pathways. On the other hand, TNF has also been reported to inhibit neovascularisation, induce apoptosis of PCa cells, and stimulate antitumour immunity. Much of the confusion surrounding its seemingly paradoxical roles in cancer biology stems from the dependence of its effects on the biological model within which TNF is investigated. This paper will address some of these issues and also discuss the therapeutic implications.