Androgen receptor (AR) signaling is a distinctive feature of prostate carcinoma (PC) and represents the major therapeutic target for treating metastatic prostate cancer (mPC). Though highly effective, AR antagonism can produce tumors that bypass a functional requirement for AR, often through neuroendocrine (NE) transdifferentiation. Through the molecular assessment of mPCs over two decades, we find a phenotypic shift has occurred in mPC with the emergence of an AR-null NE-null phenotype. These "double-negative" PCs are notable for elevated FGF and MAPK pathway activity, which can bypass AR dependence. Pharmacological inhibitors of MAPK or FGFR repressed the growth of double-negative PCs in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicate that FGF/MAPK blockade may be particularly efficacious against mPCs with an AR-null phenotype.
Keywords: FGF; ID1; androgen-pathway independence; castration-resistant prostate cancer; neuroendocrine.
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