Pathogenesis of prostate cancer: lessons from basic research

Ochsner J. 2008 Winter;8(4):213-8.


In the United States, prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men. While the importance of androgens and androgen receptors (ARs) in primary prostate cancer is well established, the role of ARs in prostate cancers that emerge despite androgen ablation therapies remains poorly understood. The aim of this article is to illustrate the fundamental biology of prostate cancer. We focus mainly on the AR because of its critical role in the progression and metastatic spread of prostate cancer. We also summarize the alternate pathways that may potentially contribute to the progression of prostate cancer. Identifying the underlying mechanisms of androgen independence is crucial in the design of appropriate therapies for hormone-refractory neoplasms.

Keywords: adenocarcinoma; androgen receptor; hormone resistance; prostate; signaling pathways; testosterone.