Cancer of the prostate

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2005 Dec;56(3):379-96. doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2005.03.010.


Prostate carcinoma, with about 190,000 new cases occurring each year (15% of all cancers in men), is the most frequent cancer among men in northern and western Europe. Causes of the disease are essentially unknown, although hormonal factors are involved, and diet may exert an indirect influence; some genes, potentially involved in hereditary prostate cancer (HPC) have been identified. A suspect of prostate cancer may derive from elevated serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) values and/or a suspicious digital rectal examination (DRE) finding. For a definitive diagnosis, however, a positive prostate biopsy is requested. Treatment strategy is defined according to initial PSA stage, and grade of the disease and age and general conditions of the patient. In localized disease, watchful waiting is indicated as primary option in patients with well or moderately differentiated tumours and a life expectancy <10 years, while radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy (with or without hormone-therapy) could be appropriate choices in the remaining cases. Hormone-therapy is the treatment of choice, combined with radiotherapy, for locally advanced or bulky disease and is effective, but not curative, in 80-85% of the cases of advanced disease. Patients who develop a hormone-refractory prostate cancer disease (HRPC) have to be evaluated for chemotherapy because of the recent demonstration of improved overall survival (2-2.5 months) and quality of life with docetaxel in more than 1,600 cases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Protocols
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome