Press Releases

1997 Releases

Potential Cause of Prostate Cancer Identified

For immediate release: September 30, 1997

Boston - A hormone which as recently attracted the attention of cancer researchers, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), has been found to play a crucial role in the causation of prostate cancer. The study, coauthored by Dr. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology, is reported in the October British Journal of Cancer.

Investigators from the Harvard School of Public Health, the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm, and the University of Athens, studied 150 Greek men to evaluate the role of several hormones that may affect prostate disease. Men with higher levels of IGF-1 had a substantially higher risk of developing prostate cancer, but were not at an increased risk of developing benign prostatic hyperplasia, a common condition of elderly men.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second cause of death from cancer among men. The reported association is one of the strongest hormonal relations ever noted with respect to a human malignancy.

For further information, please contact:

Robin Herman
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-4752
Email: rherman@hsph.harvard.edu