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Curr Opin Oncol. 2016 May;28(3):241-7. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000276.

Metabolic targets for potential prostate cancer therapeutics.

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aDivision of Urology, Department of Surgery, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland bThe George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Washington, DC cDepartment of Pathology dDepartment of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine eThe Veteran's Health Administration Research and Development Service fGreenebaum Cancer Center, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



Prostate cancer (PCa) demonstrates characteristic changes in metabolism and bioenergetics in the transition from benign to malignant tissue. It is feasible that some of these changes may be targetable for therapeutic purposes. This review will highlight some of the current metabolically targeted therapies being investigated for the treatment of prostate cancer.


The transition from benign to malignant prostate cells is characterized by decreased intracellular zinc concentration and subsequent release of inhibition of the tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme m-aconitase, which leads to the decrease in citrate concentration within the cancer tissue. Instead of the largely glycolytic phenotype exhibited by most cancers, PCa relies on glutamine and lipids for survival and proliferation. Early studies are beginning to demonstrate that targeting some of the upregulated pathways with inhibitors of key enzymes, such as glutaminase, fatty acid synthase, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, hexokinase, zinc transport, or complex I in the mitochondria may have significant metabolic effects and therapeutic potential.


The unique metabolic profile of PCa allows for many potential avenues of treatment. Future studies will continue to test if the metabolic characterization and treatment of PCa could be an important approach to provide personalized treatment for the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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