Reduction of human prostate tumor vascularity by the α1-adrenoceptor antagonist terazosin

Kaspar Keledjian, Andrew Borkowski, Grace Kim, John T. Isaacs, Stephen C. Jacobs, Natasha Kyprianou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. We previously demonstrated that the quinazoline-derived a1-adrenoceptor antagonists doxazosin and terazosin suppress prostate cancer growth via apoptosis induction. The aim of this study was to determine the potential effect of a1-adrenoceptor antagonists on tumor vascularity of the human prostate. METHODS. A total of 34 men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) who have been on terazosin treatment (for the obstructive symptoms) were pathologically diagnosed with prostate cancer following surgery. These patients were stratified according to the length of treatment periods with terazosin into two groups, 1 week-6 months, and 6-17 months. The control group consisted of prostatectomy specimens from 25 untreated prostate cancer patients undergoing surgery for localized disease. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded prostate specimens were analyzed for apoptosis (TUNEL assay), cell proliferation (Ki-67), microvessel density (MVD) (von Willebrand factor/Factor VIII), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression, and prostate specific antigen (PSA) immunoreactivity. RESULTS. A significant induction of apoptosis was observed among cancerous prostatic epithelial cells in the terazosin-treated, as compared to the untreated prostate cancer specimens, while there was no significant change in the proliferative index of the same tumor cell populations after treatment. Furthermore, terazosin resulted in a significant decrease in prostate tissue MVD compared with the untreated group (P < 0.01), that correlated with the increased apoptotic index of the cancerous areas. Tissue PSA expression in the prostatic tumor foci was also markedly reduced after terazosin treatment, while no significant changes in VEGF expression were detected. CONCLUSIONS. These findings provide the first evidence that terazosin, a quinazoline-based a1-blocker decreases prostate tumor vascularity. Our study has significant clinical implications in identifying selected α1-adrenoceptor antagonists as potential anti-tumor agents with apoptotic and anti-angiogenic effects in the human prostate that can be exploited for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2001


  • Apoptosis
  • Microvessel density
  • Prostate cancer
  • α1-adrenoceptor antagonists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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