Transformation and malignant progression of prostate cancer is regulated by the inability of prostatic epithelial cells to undergo apoptosis rather than by increased cell proliferation. The basic apoptotic machinery of most prostate cancer cells is intact and the inability to undergo apoptosis is due to molecular alterations that result in failure to initiate or execute apoptotic pathways. This review discusses the role of anti-apoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2/BclXL, NF-kappaB, IGF, caveolin, and Akt, and pro-apoptotic molecules such as PTEN, p53, Bin1, TGF-beta, and Par-4 that can regulate progression of prostate cancer. In addition to highlighting the salient features of these molecules and their relevance in apoptosis, this review provides an appraisal of their therapeutic potential in prostate cancer. Molecular targeting of these proteins and/or their innate pro- or anti-apoptotic pathways, either singly or in combination, may be explored in conjunction with conventional and currently available experimental strategies for the treatment of both hormone-sensitive and hormone-resistant prostate cancer.