The normal prostate: The prostate is the largest accessory gland of the male reproductive system. (Figure 1) The healthy adult prostate is about the size of a chestnut and conical in shape. In general, it measures 20 ml in volume, though it can become five or six time that size with increasing age. The prostate is shaped like an inverted pyramid and lies between the bladder and the pelvic floor (1). The prostate supplies about 30% of the volume of the seminal fluid. The normal prostate is composed of epithelial glands and stroma. These glands represent the terminal tubular portion of long tubulo-alveolar glands that radiate from the urethra. The glands are lined by two cell layers: an outer low cuboidal layer and an inner layer of tall columnar mucin-secreting epithelium. Half of the volume of the prostate is occupied by the fibromuscular stroma between the glands. The prostate zones: The prostate consist of several zones, the peripheral zone, the central zone and the transition zone (Figure 2). Prostate cancer mainly occurs in peripheral zone, whereas benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) merely occurs in transition zone. BPH is a benign enlargement of the prostate.

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Astellas Pharma B.V., BD Biosciences B.V., GlaxosmithKline B.V., Novartis Pharma B.V. Sanofi-Avensis B.V., Stichting Urologisch Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (SUWO), Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Prostaatkanker (SWOP)
C.H. Bangma (Chris)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Heul-Nieuwenhuijsen, L. (2009, February 11). Cancer related gene expression in the human prostate zones. Retrieved from