Prostate cancer

Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2021 Feb 4;7(1):9. doi: 10.1038/s41572-020-00243-0.


Prostate cancer is a complex disease that affects millions of men globally, predominantly in high human development index regions. Patients with localized disease at a low to intermediate risk of recurrence generally have a favourable outcome of 99% overall survival for 10 years if the disease is detected and treated at an early stage. Key genetic alterations include fusions of TMPRSS2 with ETS family genes, amplification of the MYC oncogene, deletion and/or mutation of PTEN and TP53 and, in advanced disease, amplification and/or mutation of the androgen receptor (AR). Prostate cancer is usually diagnosed by prostate biopsy prompted by a blood test to measure prostate-specific antigen levels and/or digital rectal examination. Treatment for localized disease includes active surveillance, radical prostatectomy or ablative radiotherapy as curative approaches. Men whose disease relapses after prostatectomy are treated with salvage radiotherapy and/or androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for local relapse, or with ADT combined with chemotherapy or novel androgen signalling-targeted agents for systemic relapse. Advanced prostate cancer often progresses despite androgen ablation and is then considered castration-resistant and incurable. Current treatment options include AR-targeted agents, chemotherapy, radionuclides and the poly(ADP-ribose) inhibitor olaparib. Current research aims to improve prostate cancer detection, management and outcomes, including understanding the fundamental biology at all stages of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgen Antagonists*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Prostatectomy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / therapy


  • Androgen Antagonists
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen