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Update on options for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Authors Vishnu P, Tan W

Published 23 March 2010 Volume 2010:3 Pages 39—51


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Prakash Vishnu, Winston W Tan

Division of Hematology Oncology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Background: Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men in US and European countries. Despite having a favorable prognosis, the incidence of incurable metastatic disease and mortality in the US is about 28,000 per year. Although hormone-based androgen deprivation therapies typically result in rapid responses, nearly all patients eventually develop progressive castration-resistant disease state. With readily available prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, most of these patients are asymptomatic and manifest progression simply as a rising PSA. In patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), the median survival is about 1–2 years, with improvements in survival seen mostly with docetaxel-based regimens. The purpose of this article is to review the recent developments in the treatment of advanced CRPC.

Recent findings: Since the two landmark trials (TAX-327 and Southwest Oncology Group 99–16) in CRPC, several newer cytotoxic drugs (epothilones, satraplatin), targeted agents (abiraterone, MDV3100) and vaccines have been tested in phase II and III setting with promising results.

Conclusions: The role of newer agents in the treatment of CRPC still needs to be validated by phase III trials, which are currently ongoing. Whilst the novel biomarkers, ‘circulating tumor cells’, have been shown to provide important prognostic information and are anticipated to be incorporated in future clinical decision-making, their exact utility and relevance calls for a larger prospective validation.

Keywords: castration-resistant prostate cancer, novel therapies, mechanisms of resistance, circulating tumor cells

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