Androgen Deprivation Therapy Can Make Prostate Cancer More Aggressive, Study Finds

Androgen Deprivation Therapy Can Make Prostate Cancer More Aggressive, Study Finds
While androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is an important treatment for prostate cancer, a new study has found that it sometimes promotes the transformation of prostate cancer cells into a more aggressive type resistant to treatment. However, the findings also suggested that a simple blood test could help predict when ADT resistance would occur. The study, “Stromal epigenetic alterations drive metabolic and neuroendocrine prostate cancer reprogramming,” appeared in The Journal of Clinical Investigation. Prostate adenocarcinoma, the most common type of prostate cancer, generally responds well to ADT. The therapy aims to reduce levels of the male sex hormone androgen or stop it from stimulating tumor growth. Prostate adenocarcinoma is curable in its early stages. However, certain patients develop resistance to the hormone therapy, which causes cancer to return or spread. Possible explanations for this include the expansion of a resistant cell population as other cells die and the support of tumor survival by cells from the tumor microenvironment. Epigenetic changes — which are changes in gene expression rather than in the gene itself — in prostatic cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) can be used to predict disease progression. CAFs are cells that are responsible for generating connective tissue and are able to induce tumor development. A research team at Cedars-Sinai assessed ADT-related epigenetic changes in cells from the tumor's surrounding environment to understand how they could affect tumor growth and
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