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BACKGROUND: Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) may affect prostate cancer (PCa) growth by various mechanisms including those related to androgens. The fusion of the androgen-regulated gene TMPRSS2 and the oncogene ERG (TMPRSS2:ERG or T2E) is common in PCa, and prostate tumors that harbor the gene fusion are believed to represent a distinct disease subtype. We studied the association of CCB use with the risk of PCa, and molecular subtypes of PCa defined by T2E status. METHODS: Participants were residents of King County, Washington, recruited for population-based case-control studies (1993-1996 or 2002-2005). Tumor T2E status was determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization using tumor tissue specimens from radical prostatectomy. Detailed information on use of CCBs and other variables was obtained through in-person interviews. Binomial and polytomous logistic regression were used to generate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: The study included 1,747 PCa patients and 1,635 age-matched controls. A subset of 563 patients treated with radical prostatectomy had T2E status determined, of which 295 were T2E positive (52%). Use of CCBs (ever vs. never) was not associated with overall PCa risk. However, among European-American men, users had a reduced risk of higher-grade PCa (Gleason scores ≥7: adjusted OR = 0.64; 95% CI: 0.44-0.95). Further, use of CCBs was associated with a reduced risk of T2E positive PCa (adjusted OR = 0.38; 95% CI: 0.19-0.78), but was not associated with T2E negative PCa. CONCLUSIONS: This study found suggestive evidence that use of CCBs is associated with reduced relative risks for higher Gleason score and T2E positive PCa. Future studies of PCa etiology should consider etiologic heterogeneity as PCa subtypes may develop through different causal pathways. Prostate 77:282-290, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





282 - 290


Gleason score, TMPRSS2:ERG gene fusion, calcium channel blockers, prostate cancer, risk, Aged, Calcium Channel Blockers, Case-Control Studies, Gene Fusion, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Population Surveillance, Prostatic Neoplasms, Risk Factors, Serine Endopeptidases, Transcriptional Regulator ERG