Neuroendocrine differentiation in prostate cancer: Current and emerging therapy strategies

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Neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) secondary to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) may be frequent in various stages of prostate cancer (PC), particularly in castration-resistant PC (CRPC). NED generally involves more aggressive PC clinical behavior and an unfavorable prognosis. The identification of neuropeptides secreted by NE cells and of different proliferative and anti-apoptotic pathways has led to attention being focused on probable diagnostic targets and therapeutic options for a subtype of PC. Emerging evidence suggests that the acquisition of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype are associated with the development of NED in PC, responsible for a complex interaction between ADT, the onset of CRPC and NED, in which EMT and CSC could play a central role, providing potential therapeutic targets. In this article, we review the pathogenetic, prognostic and predictive significance of NED in human PC, providing an insight into innovative agents capable of treating and perhaps preventing NED occurrence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-24
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Androgen deprivation therapy
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Chromogranin A
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Neuroendocrine differentiation
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)


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