Androgen receptor (AR) signaling is vital for the normal development of the prostate and is critically involved in prostate cancer (PCa). AR is not only found in epithelial prostate cells but is also expressed in various cells in the PCa-associated stroma, which constitute the tumor microenvironment (TME). In the TME, AR is expressed in fibroblasts, macrophages, lymphocytes and neutrophils. AR expression in the TME was shown to be decreased in higher-grade and metastatic PCa, suggesting that stromal AR plays a protective role against PCa progression. With that, the functionality of AR in stromal cells appears to deviate from the receptor’s classical function as described in PCa cells. However, the biological action of AR in these cells and its effect on cancer progression remains to be fully understood. Here, we systematically review the pathological, genomic and biological literature on AR actions in various subsets of prostate stromal cells and aim to better understand the consequences of AR signaling in the TME in relation to PCa development and progression.
B Cioni, W Zwart and A M Bergman
S Prekovic, T Van den Broeck, S Linder, M E van Royen, A B Houtsmuller, F Handle, S Joniau, W Zwart and F Claessens
Prostate cancer (PCa) is among the most common adult malignancies, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men. As PCa is hormone dependent, blockade of the androgen receptor (AR) signaling is an effective therapeutic strategy for men with advanced metastatic disease. The discovery of enzalutamide, a compound that effectively blocks the AR axis and its clinical application has led to a significant improvement in survival time. However, the effect of enzalutamide is not permanent, and resistance to treatment ultimately leads to development of lethal disease, for which there currently is no cure. This review will focus on the molecular underpinnings of enzalutamide resistance, bridging the gap between the preclinical and clinical research on novel therapeutic strategies for combating this lethal stage of prostate cancer.