The present study demonstrates that fibroblasts associated with carcinomas stimulate tumor progression of initiated nontumorigenic epithelial cells both in an in vivo tissue recombination system and in an in vitro coculture system. Human prostatic carcinoma-associated fibroblasts grown with initiated human prostatic epithelial cells dramatically stimulated growth and altered histology of the epithelial population. This effect was not detected when normal prostatic fibroblasts were grown with the initiated epithelial cells under the same experimental conditions. In contrast, carcinoma-associated fibroblasts did not affect growth of normal human prostatic epithelial cells under identical conditions. From these data, we conclude that in this human prostate cancer model, carcinoma-associated fibroblasts stimulate progression of tumorigenesis. Thus, carcinoma-associated fibroblasts can direct tumor progression of an initiated prostate epithelial cell.