Neuroendocrine prostate cancer, generally arising late in the disease trajectory, is a heterogenous subtype that infers a worse prognosis and limited treatment options for patients. Characterization of the complex landscape of this disease subtype and scrutiny of the relationship between tumor cells and cells of the surrounding tumor microenvironment have aided in elucidating some of the mechanisms of neuroendocrine disease biology and have uncovered a multitude of signaling pathways involved in disease transdifferentiation under therapeutic selection. In this review, we discuss current efforts to better understand the heterogenous landscape of neuroendocrine prostate cancer and summarize research efforts to define the interplay between tumor cells and the microenvironment, with an emphasis on the immune component. Research efforts have uncovered several potential therapeutic approaches that may improve disease outcomes for patients diagnosed with neuroendocrine prostate cancer, including the potential for combination immunotherapies. However, additional research is required to fully address and exploit the contribution of tumor cell and microenvironment heterogeneity in developing effective treatment strategies.
The Journal of endocrinology. 2022 Oct 01 [Epub ahead of print]
Lauren Brady, Peter S Nelson
L Brady, Divisions of Human Biology and Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, United States., P Nelson, Divisions of Human Biology and Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, United States.