WNT signalling in prostate cancer
Genome sequencing and gene expression analyses of prostate tumours have highlighted the potential importance of genetic and epigenetic changes observed in WNT signalling pathway components in prostate tumours — particularly in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer. WNT signalling is also important in the prostate tumour microenvironment, in which WNT proteins secreted by the tumour stroma promote resistance to therapy, and in prostate cancer stem or progenitor cells, in which WNT-β-catenin signals promote self-renewal or expansion. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the potential of inhibitors that target WNT receptor complexes at the cell membrane or that block the interaction of β-catenin with lymphoid enhancer-binding factor 1 and the androgen receptor, in preventing prostate cancer progression. Some WNT signalling inhibitors are in phase I trials, but they have yet to be tested in patients with prostate cancer.