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Cancer Med


Growth and differentiation factor 15 (GDF-15), also known as macrophage inhibitory cytokine 1 (MIC-1), may act as both a tumor suppressor and promotor and, by regulating NF-κB and macrophage signaling, promote early prostate carcinogenesis. To determine whether expression of these two inflammation-related proteins affect prostate cancer susceptibility, dual immunostaining of benign prostate biopsies for GDF-15 and NF-κB was done in a study of 503 case-control pairs matched on date, age, and race, nested within a historical cohort of 10,478 men. GDF-15 and NF-κB expression levels were positively correlated (r = 0.39; p < 0.0001), and both were significantly lower in African American (AA) compared with White men. In adjusted models that included both markers, the odds ratio (OR) for NF-κB expression was statistically significant, OR =0.87; p = 0.03; 95% confidence interval (CI) =0.77-0.99, while GDF-15 expression was associated with a nominally increased risk, OR =1.06; p = 0.27; 95% CI =0.96-1.17. When modeling expression levels by quartiles, the highest quartile of NF-κB expression was associated with almost a fifty percent reduction in prostate cancer risk (OR =0.51; p = 0.03; 95% CI =0.29-0.92). In stratified models, NF-κB had the strongest negative association with prostate cancer in non-aggressive cases (p = 0.03), older men (p = 0.03), and in case-control pairs with longer follow-up (p = 0.02). Risk associated with GDF-15 expression was best fit using nonlinear regression modeling where both first (p = 0.02) and second (p = 0.03) order GDF-15 risk terms were associated with significantly increased risk. This modeling approach also revealed significantly increased risk associated with GDF-15 expression for subsamples defined by AA race, aggressive disease, younger age, and in case-control pairs with longer follow-up. Therefore, although positively correlated in benign prostatic biopsies, NF-κB and GDF-15 expression appear to exert opposite effects on risk of prostate tumor development.

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ePub ahead of print