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J Mol Med (Berl). 1999 May;77(5):419-26.

The androgen receptor: genetic considerations in the development and treatment of prostate cancer.

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Medicine Branch, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The action of androgens in the development and growth of prostate carcinomas is well documented. The androgen receptor (AR) facilitates androgen-induced regulation of genes involved in cellular proliferation and differentiation. Since the early 1940s androgen ablation has been the cornerstone of treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. Although initially highly effective, hormonal therapy is not curative, and resistant disease will ultimately prevail. Mutations that alter AR conformation, function, and regulation may provide a selective growth advantage for subpopulations of cells within the tumor that are then able to proliferate in an androgen-deprived environment. Clinically, these mutations are important because they may lead to the growth of androgen-independent tumors and progression to a refractory state. Further characterization of AR mutations will lead to a more thorough understanding of their role in the development of prostate carcinomas. This information, in addition to discovering which genes are regulated by the AR, can aid in the future development of more effective pharmacotherapy for prostate cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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