Current standard and investigational approaches to the management of hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is a common cause of death in men and remains incurable in the metastatic setting. In 2004, 2 landmark trials using docetaxel-based chemotherapy, TAX 327 and SWOG 99-16, showed a survival benefit for the first time in metastatic, hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Current research suggests that several distinct mechanisms of androgen-refractory disease may converge in patients with disease progression on androgen deprivation therapy. These findings have identified several potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Current standard and investigational treatment options for this disease are discussed, including chemotherapy and rapidly evolving therapies in phase II/III trials involving antiangiogenic therapies, signal transduction inhibitors, immunomodulatory agents, and nuclear receptor targets. In light of a growing array of treatment options and an increasingly chronic natural history, this review supports a multidisciplinary care approach to these patients, including medical oncologists, urologists, and radiation oncologists, to optimize survival and quality of life.