GU Cancers Symposium 2012 - Prostate cancer: Take home message - Session Highlights


  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among men in the U.S. and the second most common cause of cancer death among men.1,4 It is estimated that about one in six men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime and one in 36 will die from the disease.2
  • In 2011, an estimated 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. and approximately 33,720 men were expected to die from prostate cancer.2
  • The development of prostate cancer may be linked to increased levels of certain hormones, called androgens. High levels of androgens (such as testosterone) promote prostate cell growth and may contribute to prostate cancer risk in some men.2
  • Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men than in men of other races. African-American men are also more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage and are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as white men. Prostate cancer occurs less often in Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino men than in non-Hispanic whites. The reasons for these racial and ethnic differences are not clear.2


Inhibition of androgen receptor signaling and androgen deprivation therapy has been the focus of systemic prostate cancer treatment for more than six decades.3 Current treatment of prostate cancer may include hormone therapy, external-beam radiation therapy with or without hormone therapy, brachytherapy (internal radiation therapy) and immunotherapy.2,5 New research has also led to advances in the understanding of the molecular basis of prostate cancer, particularly metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Evidence suggests that mCRPC continues to be androgen-driven, potentially as a result of tumor-driven mutated androgen production or the tumor’s development of alternative signaling mechanisms.3,6,7

Several new compounds are currently in late-stage development for the treatment of mCRPC, including androgen receptor-targeting therapies and agents targeting cell signaling pathways and biologic processes. These investigational treatments are being evaluated alone or in combination with new and existing therapies.7



  1. National Cancer Insitute. General Information About Prostate Cancer. Available at: Accessed January 17, 2012.
  2. American Cancer Society. Prostate Cancer Detailed Guide. Available at: Accessed January 17, 2012.
  3. Ryan CJ and Tindall DJ. Androgen Receptor Rediscovered: The New Biology and Targeting the Androgen Receptor Therapeutically. J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(27):3651-58.
  4. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2012. Available at: Accessed January 17, 2012.
  5. National Cancer Insitute. Treatment Options by Stage. Available at: Accessed January 17, 2012.
  6. MacVicar GR. American Society of Clinical Oncology 2011 Educational Book: Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer 2011: Exciting Advances, New Challenges. 2011: 177-81.
  7. Small EJ and de Bono JS. Prostate Cancer: Evolution or Revolution? J Clin Oncol. 2011;29(27):3595-98.



Reported for UroToday by Karen Roberts, Medical Writer



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