Affiliation: Medical Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Building 10, Rm 12N226, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
For many men, prostate cancer is an indolent disease that, even without definitive therapy, may have no impact on their quality of life or overall survival. However for those men who are either diagnosed with or eventually develop metastatic disease, prostate cancer is a painful and universally fatal disease. Testosterone-lowering hormonal therapy may control the disease for some time, but patients eventually develop resistance and progress clinically. At this point, only docetaxel has been shown to improve survival, so clearly additional therapeutic options are needed. Angiogenesis inhibition is an active area of clinical research in prostate cancer. Without angiogenesis, tumors have insufficient nutrients and oxygen to grow larger than a few millimeters and are potentially less likely to metastasize. In prostate cancer in particular, angiogenesis plays a significant role in tumor proliferation, and markers of angiogenesis appear to have prognostic significance. Several different compounds have been developed to inhibit angiogenesis, including monoclonal antibodies, multitargeted kinase inhibitors, and fusion proteins. In addition, more traditional agents may also have an impact on angiogenesis. Trials studying antiangiogenic agents have been conducted in localized and advanced prostate cancer. There are several large, ongoing phase III trials in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The findings of these and future studies will ultimately determine the role of angiogenesis inhibitors in the treatment of prostate cancer.