The androgen receptor and signal-transduction pathways in hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Part 1: modifications to the androgen receptor

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Edwards, J. ; Bartlett, J.M.S. (2005)

Prostate cancer is the second most common male malignancy in the western world an increasing incidence in an ageing population. Treatment of advanced prostate cancer relies on androgen deprivation. Although the majority of patients initially respond favourably to androgen deprivation therapy, the mean time to relapse is 12-18 months. Currently there are few treatments available for men who\ud have developed resistance to hormone therapy, due to the lack of understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying development of this disease. Recently, however, major advances have been made in understanding both\ud androgen receptor (AR) dependent and independent pathways which promote development of hormone resistant prostate cancer. This review will focus on modifications to the AR and associated pathways. Molecular modifications to the\ud androgen receptor itself, e.g. mutations and/or amplification, although involved in the development of hormone resistance cannot explain all cases. Phosphorylation of AR, via either Ras/MAP kinase or PI3K/Akt signal transduction pathways, have been shown to activate AR in both a ligand (androgen) dependent and independent fashion. During this review we will discuss the clinical evidence to support AR dependent pathways as mediators of hormone resistance.
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