Affiliation: Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Patras, GR-26110 Patras, Greece.
Prostate cancer is the most common cause of non-cutaneous cancer in men and a leading lethal malignancy with increasing incidence worldwide. Inevitably, all patients will develop androgen-independent disease, which remains the main obstacle to improving survival. Unfortunately, existing first and second line hormonal treatment are condemned to extent survival for only a few years. These sobering data have forced researchers to start exploring in depth the molecular mechanisms implicated in the emergence of androgen independence and of prostate cancer invasion. In this vein, epoch-making discoveries in molecular oncology along with rapid expansion of our knowledge concerning the processes that govern differentiation, apoptosis, immune surveillance, angiogenesis, metastasis, cell cycle and signal transduction control, have unveiled a plethora of specific targets for prostate cancer gene therapy, immunotherapy and anti-invasion therapy, along with a variety of small-molecule compounds which inhibit or stimulate these pathways. These new anti-cancer approaches are in various stages of clinical development, providing exciting perspectives for the future of prostate cancer cure and enriching the current anti-cancer drug quiver with a new spectrum of therapeutic agents. The present review, through extensive literature cross-examination, discusses several novel anti-prostate cancer strategies, emphasizing on approaches that potentially may extend end-stage patients survival.