Prostate cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers in men in many countries, increasing in frequency with age through the most advanced years. The standard treatment for newly diagnosed metastatic tumors is androgen ablation. However, advanced prostate cancer nevertheless often develops in many cases. Although hormonal manipulation and chemotherapy have uncertain value for advanced lesions, especially androgen-independent, recent studies of docetaxel-based chemotherapy in men with androgen-independent prostate cancer have shown a survival benefit. Intensive investigations have shown that aberrant epigenetic features. including aberrant DNA methylation, make an important contribution to carcinogenesis as well as genetic alterations. Hypermethylation of CpG islands in promoter regions can lead to silencing of tumorsuppressor genes, while hypomethylation of the genome leads to instability. This review attempts to provide up-to-date information regarding the significance of epigenetics for human prostate cancer, with aberrations offering dues to therapy and possibly also providing targets for anticancer drugs.
Keywords: Prostate cancer, epigenetics, methylation, chemotherapy, drug resistance
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