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Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Sep 1;16(17):4319-24. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0255. Epub 2010 Jul 20.

Overcoming persistent dependency on androgen signaling after progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer.

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  • 1Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, Tsukuba, Japan.


Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in males in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer death. Initially, most cases of prostate cancer respond well to hormone therapy; however, resistance often develops rapidly, leading to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Several mechanisms for castration resistance have been proposed, of which the most significant seems to be the "intracrine" production of androgens from adrenal androgen or intratumorally via the de novo route. This mechanism stimulates disease progression through reactivation of androgen receptor signaling in patients who have previously undergone castration therapy. 17,20-lyase is essential for androgen synthesis in both the adrenal glands and CRPC tissue, and some 17,20-lyase inhibitors and second-generation anti-androgens that were developed to treat CRPC are currently under clinical investigation, with encouraging preliminary data reported so far. However, resistance to some of these therapies has already been noted. The study of circulating tumor cells will likely be important not only to identify patients likely to receive benefit from this therapeutic approach, but also to further understand the molecular mechanisms of resistance.

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