Novel therapeutic strategy for advanced prostate cancer using antisense oligodeoxynucleotides targeting anti-apoptotic genes upregulated after androgen withdrawal to delay androgen-independent progression and enhance chemosensitivity

Int J Urol. 2001 Jul;8(7):337-49. doi: 10.1046/j.1442-2042.2001.00311.x.


Progression to androgen-independence remains the main obstacle to improving survival for patients with advanced prostate cancer. In this review, findings are summarized that have recently been demonstrated to establish novel therapeutic strategy targeting several genes playing functionally important roles after androgen withdrawal and during androgen-independent progression. The authors initially characterized changes in gene expression after androgen withdrawal in the androgen-dependent Shionogi and LNCaP tumor models using cDNA arrays. Based on these results, they focused on genes highly upregulated after androgen ablation (i.e. bcl-2, bcl-xL, TR.PM-2, IGFBP-5), which have anti-apoptotic or mitogenic activities, and thereby confer a resistance to androgen withdrawal as well as cytotoxic chemotherapy. The authors further demonstrated the efficacy of an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) strategy for patients with advanced prostate cancer through the inhibition of target gene expression, resulting in a delay in the progression to androgen-independence by enhancing apoptotic cell death induced by androgen ablation and chemotherapy. The authors also showed the effectiveness of combined antisense ODN therapy and cytotoxic chemotherapy by achieving additive or synergistic effects. These findings provide a basic significance for the design of clinical studies using antisense ODN either alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic agents in patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / physiology*
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Genetic Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Antisense / therapeutic use
  • Orchiectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Androgens
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Antisense