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Why prostate cancer patients fail hormone deprivation therapy
Date:12/31/2008

patients who had never taken hormone therapy, but whose cancer aggressively regrew after surgery to remove their tumors.

To see how androgen receptors made from AR-V7 differ from others, the researchers forced lab-grown prostate cancer cells to produce only the AR-V7 sequence. Unlike cells with other androgen receptors, those with only AR-V7 receptors acted as if they were continually receiving androgensturning on at least 20 genes that rely on androgens for activationeven though no androgens were present.

The results suggest that hormone therapy might encourage prostate cancer cells to overproduce the AR-V7 receptors over time, leading them to survive and grow aggressively even without androgens, explains Luo. In some patients, he adds, AR-V7 receptors might already be prevalent even without hormone therapy, predisposing them to an already-aggressive form of prostate cancer that won't respond as well to hormone deprivation therapy.

"We may eventually be able to develop an assay to test for this androgen receptor variant, giving us a way to test which patients are good candidates for hormone deprivation therapy and providing a way to monitor disease progression in patients already on this therapy," Luo says.

Examining the differences between AR-V7 and other androgen receptor variants may also provide researchers with new ideas to develop prostate cancer-fighting pharmaceuticals, he adds.


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Contact: Christen Brownlee
cbrownlee@jhmi.edu
410-955-7832
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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