World Journal of Urology

, Volume 36, Issue 12, pp 2009–2019 | Cite as

Malignant invasion of the central nervous system: the hidden face of a poorly understood outcome of prostate cancer

  • Eliane Gouvêa de Oliveira BarrosEmail author
  • Nathalia Meireles Da Costa
  • Celia Yelimar Palmero
  • Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto
  • Luiz Eurico Nasciutti
  • Antonio Palumbo Jr.Email author


Malignancies of the central nervous system include primary brain tumors and brain metastases, the latter being the major cause of intracranial neoplasms in adults. Although prostate cancer (PCa) brain metastases are not the most common source, recent data show that the relevance of prostate cancer brain metastases (PCBM) cannot be neglected. In this review, we focus on the molecular repertory as well as on the phenotypical similarities between PCBM and primary PCa, such as the cellular evolution and the maintenance of androgen-receptor expression. Moreover, the simultaneous occurrence of PCBM with other PCa metastatic sites and the significance of the clinical heterogeneity of the disease are also discussed. In addition, a potential relationship between the heterogeneous behavior exhibited by PCBM and the co-occurrence of malignant cell clusters with distinct genetic profiles is also hypothesized, as well as the prominent role of astrocytes in the establishment of PCBM.


Prostate cancer Brain metastasis Astrocytes Prostate cancer brain metastases Microenvironment 



The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by the following agencies: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa Carlos Chagas Filho (FAPERJ), and Programa de Oncobiologia da Fundação do Cancer Ary Frauzino.


The financial Grants provided by the following agencies: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa Carlos Chagas Filho (FAPERJ), and Programa de Oncobiologia da Fundação do Cancer Ary Frauzino supported the scientific activities from the following researchers: Eliane Gouvêa de Oliveira Barros and Antonio Palumbo júnior.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported and that they do not have a financial relationship with the organizations that sponsored the research. Moreover, this manuscript has been read and approved by all of the authors, and it is not submitted or under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Ethical approval

Not applied.

Informed consent

Not applied.

Supplementary material

345_2018_2392_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eliane Gouvêa de Oliveira Barros
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nathalia Meireles Da Costa
    • 2
  • Celia Yelimar Palmero
    • 1
  • Luis Felipe Ribeiro Pinto
    • 2
  • Luiz Eurico Nasciutti
    • 1
  • Antonio Palumbo Jr.
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório de Interações Celulares, Instituto de Ciências BiomédicasUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Carcinogênese Molecular, Centro de Pesquisas (CPQ)Instituto Nacional de Câncer (INCA)Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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