Ligand and transcription factor driven survival pathways

Whilst it is often hoped that mutations in a single molecular pathway will be uncovered as the crucial oncogenic event in tumour development and its abrogation lead to meaningful anticancer activity, to date this has been rarely found to be the case for sporadic tumours. Another approach is to consider the factors that cause and/or are associated with the development as well as the survival of cancer. The role of androgens and androgen receptor is clear for prostate cancer. Other biological approaches associated with cancer development and survival include the metabolism and inflammatory systems. In both cases, there is epi-demiological, preclinical and pathological data implicating these systems in the development of prostate cancer. In comparison to the "oncogene addiction" phenomenon, these cancers are driven by altered expression of ligands and control mechanisms (such as transcription factors). Knowledge of these pathways has provided valuable clues for the treatment of cancer.

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