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J Cell Biochem. 2004 Mar 1;91(4):662-70.

Emergence of metastatic hormone-refractory disease in prostate cancer after anti-androgen therapy.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.


The anti-androgens used in prostate cancer therapy have been designed to interfere with the normal androgen receptor (AR)-mediated processes that ensure prostate cell survival, triggering tumor cells to undergo programmed cell death. While anti-androgens were originally designed to treat advanced disease, they have recently been used to debulk organ-confined prostate tumors, to improve positive margins prior to surgery, and for chemoprevention in patients at high risk for prostate cancer. However, tumors treated with anti-androgens frequently become hormone refractory and acquire a more aggressive phenotype. Progression toward metastatic hormone-refractory disease has often been regarded as the outgrowth of a small number of hormone-independent cells that emerge from a hormone-dependent tumor during anti-androgen treatment by natural selection. While a number of selective advantages have recently been identified, there is also considerable evidence suggesting that the progression toward metastatic hormone-refractory disease is an dynamic process which involves abrogation of programmed cell death as a result of the attenuation of DNA fragmentation and maintenance of mitochondrial membrane potential in tumor cells; the upregulation of stromal-mediated growth factor signaling pathways; and the upregulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) protease expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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