Prostate cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States. The current standard of care consists of prostatectomy and radiation therapy, which may often be supplemented with hormonal therapies. Recurrence is common, and many develop metastatic prostate cancer for which chemotherapy is only moderately effective. It is clear that novel therapies are needed for the treatment of the malignant forms of prostate cancer that recur after initial therapies, such as hormone refractory (HRPC) or castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). With advances in understanding of the molecular mechanisms of cancer, we have witnessed unprecedented progress in developing new forms of targeted therapy. Several targeted therapeutic agents have been developed and clinically used for the treatment of solid tumors such as breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and renal cancer. Some of these reagents modulate growth factors and/or their receptors, which are abundant in cancer cells. Other reagents target the downstream signal transduction, survival pathways, and angiogenesis pathways that are abnormally activated in transformed cells or metastatic tumors. We will review current developments in this field, focusing specifically on treatments that can be applied to prostate cancers. Finally we will describe aspects of the future direction of the field with respect to discovering biomarkers to aid in identifying responsive prostate cancer patients.
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