Androgens and prevention of prostate cancer

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Purpose of review

This review provides a description of recent insights into the role of androgens in prostate cancer prevention.

Recent findings

Many studies have elucidated a variety of molecular mechanisms involved in the initiation and progression of prostate cancer with many directly or indirectly related to the androgen signaling pathway. Both well known and novel agents for targeting the androgen pathway are under investigation, though very few are in clinical trials. After a review of recent papers describing these mechanisms, their results and implications were summarized.


Finasteride remains the only agent proven to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, though there are currently two other ongoing phase III trials with vitamin E, selenium, and dutasteride. An enhanced understanding of complex interactions with the androgen pathways is leading to the exploration of additional promising approaches to mitigating the risk of prostate cancer.

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