Prognostic factors in hormone refractory prostate cancer currently are of limited use to clinicians. Although studies have identified several factors that predict for poor survival in patients, most are either retrospective, or nonrandomized. Therefore, large prospective, randomized trials are needed to validate the significance of these factors. In addition, these indicators are largely descriptive of the patients' condition or the extent of disease. As more treatment options are developed for these patients, functionally relevant and prognostic molecular markers are needed to direct their care.