Prostate adenocarcinoma is the most frequently diagnosed non-cutaneous male malignancy in the Western countries. In The Netherlands, 9516 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006, of which 1 out of 4 may die as a result of the disease [1]. If one considers the frequency of latent cancers estimated from autopsy studies, the numbers can be as high as 30% of men in their sixties, indicating that the prostate epithelial cells are particularly susceptible to malignant transformation [2]. Nevertheless, only a fraction of these latent tumors will eventually manifest itself clinically. At present, diagnosis of the disease at an early stage is essential for the successful eradication of the cancer, as no curative treatment exists for advanced metastasized tumors. However, the early detection of prostate tumors carries the risk of over-treating cancers that pose no threat to the patient, aggravated by the fact that these treatments often have severe side effects. Present challenges in prostate cancer research are the identification of prognostic markers that, at an early stage, can distinguish the indolent tumors from those that will progress and become life threatening, and the development of targeted therapies for advanced disease. To achieve this, a thorough knowledge of the intrinsic mechanisms for prostate cancer onset and progression is essential.

Astra Zeneca,BD Biosciences,Erasmus University Rotterdam,GlaxoSmithKline,Novartis Pharma Nederland,Sanofi-Aventis,Stichting Urologisch Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (SUWO),Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Prostaatkanker (SWOP)
C.H. Bangma (Chris)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Marques, R. (2009, September 2). The Role of the Androgen Receptor Pathway in Prostate Cancer Progression. Retrieved from