Understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer has led to development of therapeutic strategies targeting androgen receptor (AR). These androgen-receptor signaling inhibitors (ARSI) include androgen synthesis inhibitor-abiraterone and androgen receptor antagonists-enzalutamide, apalutamide, and darolutamide. Although these medications provide significant improvement in survival among men with prostate cancer, drug resistance develops in nearly all patients with time. This could be through androgen-dependent or androgen-independent mechanisms. Even weaker signals and non-canonical steroid ligands can activate AR in the presence of truncated AR-splice variants, AR overexpression, or activating mutations in AR. AR splice variant, AR-V7 is the most studied among these and is not targeted by available ARSIs. Non-androgen receptor dependent resistance mechanisms are mediated by activation of an alternative signaling pathway when AR is inhibited. DNA repair pathway, PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, BRAF-MAPK and Wnt signaling pathway and activation by glucocorticoid receptors can restore downstream signaling in prostate cancer by alternative proteins. Multiple clinical trials are underway exploring therapeutic strategies to overcome these resistance mechanisms.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in Cancers, v. 13, issue 21, 5417.

© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)