Signal transduction targets in androgen-independent prostate cancer

Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2001;20(3-4):351-62. doi: 10.1023/a:1015504015302.


Prostate cancer (PCa) first manifests as an androgen-dependent disease. Thus, androgen-deprivation therapy is a standard regimen for patients with metastatic PCa. Despite the initial success of androgen-deprivation therapy, PCa inevitably progresses from being androgen dependent (AD) to androgen independent (AI), and this marks the poor prognosis of this disease. Relapse of AIPCa becomes life threatening and accounts for the majority of mortality of PCa patients. Currently, no effective therapy is available for controlling AIPCa. Therefore, the challenge in providing a new intervention is to understand the fundamental changes that occur in AIPCa. Increasing evidence indicates that, under androgen-deprived milieu, several signal networks elicited by peptide growth factors dictate the AI phenotype of PCa. This review covers the latest studies investigating the potential involvement of autocrine growth factors in cell proliferation, survival, metastasis, and the reciprocal interaction with the androgen receptor pathway. In addition, loss of the negative feedback mechanism of the signal cascade further amplifies the effect of growth factors, and thus contributes significantly to the onset of AIPCa. The understanding of the signal target(s) in AIPCa should provide the new markers for prognosis and a new strategy for prevention and therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy
  • Androgens / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Division
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Androgens
  • Receptors, Androgen