Molecular genetic mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer are not well understood due to extensive tumor heterogeneity and lack of suitable models. New methods such as fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH), comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and microsatellite analysis have documented losses or gains on various chromosomes. Altered chromosomal regions have been associated with the activation of oncogenes and the inactivation of tumor suppressor genes or defects in mismatch repair (MMR) genes. It is suggested that increased genomic instability is associated with decreased androgen-responsive and progressive behavior of human prostate tumors, but it remains unclear whether this genomic instability is causing the progression of cancer or is the consequence of cancer. Extended studies on hereditary prostate cancer have identified 7 prostate cancer susceptibility loci on several chromosomes, but no specific gene has been confined for a large proportion of susceptibility. In this review we summarize the ongoing molecular genetic events associated with the sporadic and hereditary prostate cancer development and progression.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.