Old issues and new perspectives on prostate cancer hormonal therapy: The molecular substratum - Abstract

Urologic Oncology Division, School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas, R. Votorantim, 51, ap. 43, Unicamp, Campinas, SP, 13073-090, Brazil.


Secondary hormonal therapy is a treatment option in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC); however, it is underutilized and is room for optimization and improvement. In this context, androgen receptor (AR) is the Achilles' heel, being critically important and various mechanisms ranging from receptor mutations to secondary signaling pathways are responsible for some of the biological heterogeneity, demanding a multimodal approach. A comprehensive review of the peer-reviewed literature is performed on the topic of molecular mechanisms supporting secondary hormonal therapies, including expanded alternative hormonal therapies for CRPC. Essential concepts in clinical treatment of patients with progression on primary hormonal therapy are maintaining the castrate state, accounting for the intermittency phenomenon and sequentially using oral antiandrogens and adrenolytics heading to androgen depletion microenvironment. Survival prolongation, pain relief or measurable improvement in tumor-related symptoms should be persecuted and are considered to be a tangible benefit of obvious worth to the patient. Understanding the underlying molecular substratum is of paramount importance to hormonal therapy optimization in this context once current androgen-depletion strategies are incomplete, and residual androgens as well as alternative routes contribute to sustained AR activity and disease progression to a lethal phenotype. One or many mechanisms may be playing a role, even within the same patient and lastly are potential targets for treatment. Five fundamental mechanisms mediated through the AR to promote tumor growth (three of which depend on ligand signaling) added to the stem cell pathway must be recognized in CRPC. They are persistence of intratumoral androgens as a result of in situ steroidogenesis or adrenal source; AR mutations that allow promiscuous activation by otherwise nonsignaling ligands; wild-type AR gene amplification; alterations in AR coactivator-to-corepressor ratio that impact transcription; outlaw AR pathways that bypass the need for androgens by signaling through crosstalk with other ligand-bound receptors, cytokines, or transactivation of activated tyrosine kinase receptors in the cytosol.

Written by:
Reis LO.   Are you the author?

Reference: Med Oncol. 2011 May 28. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1007/s12032-011-9991-z

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21626233

Go "Beyond the Abstract" - Read an Article Written by the Author for UroToday.com

UroToday.com Prostate Cancer Section



email news signup