Prostate cancer develops from clones that are already present as early as thirty-five years of age, when circulating concentrations of androgens are high. The progression of the disease is low and the cancer is diagnosed at a more advanced age. Prostate cancer evolves from an androgen dependant stage to stage where it escapes from all antiandrogenic treatments. The patient usually dies within two years following the diagnosis of advanced cancer. Therefore, it is of great interest to develop new therapies for androgen independent prostate cancer. The androgen independent evolution of prostate cancer is a complex phenomenon at the cellular and molecular levels. It includes an increased sensitivity to growth factors, the control of proliferation pathways, apoptotic and survival pathways as well as the control of angiogenesis. Epidemiological studies have also suggested that certain vitamins or phyto-oestrogens could protect against prostate cancer development. The present review attempts to present an overview of the fundamental research in cellular signalling which could be interesting as target for the treatment of androgen independent prostate cancer. Also the potential interest of non-androgenic steroids was reviewed for the same goal.
Keywords: prostate, cancer, androgen, genes, molecular therapy
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