Novel strategies in the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (Review)

Ilaria Marech, Angelo Vacca, Girolamo Ranieri, Antonio Gnoni, Franco Dammacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Europe and the United States, and the third leading cause of death from cancer in Europe. Survival of prostate cancer cells is dependent on the activation of androgen receptors (AR), that are overexpressed in this tumor. Furthermore, ∼90% of prostate cancer patients that respond to first-line androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) undergo rapid progression. This condition is defined as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Docetaxel-based regimens significantly improve overall survival (OS) in patients with CRPC and represent the only treatment strategy approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Recently, abiraterone (second hormonal therapy) and cabazitaxel (new taxane) have been shown to improve survival in patients with CRPC who progressed following docetaxel-based chemotherapy. Vaccine therapy has also been demonstrated to improve OS in patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic CRPC. Additional therapeutic targets have been analyzed in prostate cancer, including apoptosis, angiogenic receptors, vitamin D and Src pathways. Several phase II studies are ongoing. The high frequency of prostate cancer-related metastatic bone disease has led to consider this pathway as a therapeutic target. To this end, several bone-targeted agents have been investigated, most notably zoledronic acid, which is highly effective at stabilizing the bone and preventing skeletal complications. More recently, a nuclear factor-β ligand (RANKL) inhibitor, denosumab, has been developed for the treatment of bone metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1320
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Angiogenesis
  • Apoptosis
  • Bone-targeted therapy
  • Castrate-resistant prostate cancer
  • Docetaxel
  • Vaccine therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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