Hormone-refractory prostate cancer in the Lobund-Wistar rat

Morris Pollard, Mark A. Suckow

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Research on cancer prevention and therapy must focus on the refractory disease, the fatal end-stage of cancer that develops in patients with organ-related solid tumors. Refractory cancers develop spontaneously in advanced-stage tumors or in relapsed cases after failed therapy. Because neither prevention nor therapy is currently feasible, refractory cancer is a major impediment to survival. There is a great need for an animal model of prostate cancer (PC), one that develops cancer from initial premalignant to the terminal refractory stages. We describe here a model of hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) that develops spontaneously through two stages by endogenous mechanisms in the Lobund-Wistar (LW) rat. The early premalignant, testosterone (T)-dependent stage is promoted by high levels of endogenous T, and up to age 12 months is reversible by T deprivation; without this intervention, the tumorigenic process progresses to the refractory stage, which is highly aggressive and does not respond to T deprivation or to a wide range of therapies. Initial refractory tumors are palpable at approximately 18 months of age. As they continue to grow, the tumors express characteristics seen in refractory cancers in humans (i.e., hypoxia, expression of hypoxia-inducible factors, and metastasis). Chemically induced HRPCs in LW rats manifest the same two developmental stages, but with shorter latency periods. A transplantable, metastasizing cell line (PAIII) was derived from a germfree LW rat with advanced-stage cancer. Both spontaneous and chemically induced autochthonous HRPC model systems serve as outstanding models for studies on the prevention and therapy of refractory cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)520-526
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2005


  • Animal model
  • Hormone-refractory cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Rat
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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