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AACR 2023: Does Inflammation Tie Together Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, and Ulcerative Colitis?

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Monday, May 1, 2023

Research results in preclinical mouse models echo some relationships that have been observed in humans among immune-mediated diseases and cancers, including prostate cancer. In people, data have suggested that—potentially because of prolonged systemic inflammation—prostate cancer risk is higher in patients with ulcerative colitis and that patients with prostate cancer may be at a greater risk for colorectal cancer. Hirotsugu Uemura, MD, PhD, of Kindai University School of Medicine, Osaka-Sayama, Japan, and colleagues presented their research findings at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2023 (Abstract 640/13).

“A better understanding of the biological interactions [among] these conditions could have important implications for cancer screening, detection, and prevention in high-risk populations,” noted Dr. Uemura and co-investigators. Preclinical models “provide a platform to further investigate biological mechanisms and therapeutic interventions” in humans.

Prostate tumors from mice with versus without ulcerative colitis exhibited an altered tumor immune microenvironment characterized by a higher degree of inflammatory cell infiltrate. Changes in immune cell composition were also observed in peripheral blood and secondary lymphoid organs.

Furthermore, the prostates of colorectal cancer model mice showed a higher incidence of hyperplasia and greater myeloid cell infiltration compared with the prostates of healthy controls. All colorectal cancer mice, whether or not they had prostate cancer as well, had systemic changes including splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and immune cell composition. Additionally, although colorectal cancer incidence was not affected by the presence of prostate cancer, colorectal cancer’s tumor burden was indeed affected in those mice also afflicted with prostate cancer. In the mice that started with prostate cancer, the addition of colorectal cancer accelerated the growth and progression of prostate cancer. In the mice that began with colorectal cancer, those that also had prostate cancer had poorer overall survival than those that did not.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information can be found at

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