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Recent Advances in Prostate Cancer Treatment and Drug Discovery.


Novel drugs, drug sequences and combinations have improved the outcome of prostate cancer in recent years. The latest approvals include abiraterone acetate, enzalutamide and apalutamide which target androgen receptor (AR) signaling, radium-223 dichloride for reduction of bone metastases, sipuleucel-T immunotherapy and taxane-based chemotherapy. Adding abiraterone acetate to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in order to achieve complete androgen blockade has proven highly beneficial for treatment of locally advanced prostate cancer and metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). Also, ADT together with docetaxel treatment showed significant benefit in mHSPC. Ongoing clinical trials for different subgroups of prostate cancer patients include the evaluation of the second-generation AR antagonists enzalutamide, apalutamide and darolutamide, of inhibitors of the phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, of inhibitors of DNA damage response, of targeted alpha therapy and of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeting approaches. Advanced clinical studies with immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown limited benefits in prostate cancer and more trials are needed to demonstrate efficacy. The identification of improved, personalized treatments will be much supported by the major progress recently made in the molecular characterization of early- and late-stage prostate cancer using “omics” technologies. This has already led to novel classifications of prostate tumors based on gene expression profiles and mutation status, and should greatly help in the choice of novel targeted therapies best tailored to the needs of patients.