Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer

[CRPC] (Formerly Called Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer)

Usually, after a long period of time, prostate cancer cells will stop responding to the absence of testosterone that has been caused by ADT, and the cancer will begin growing again. It is not clear why this happens, but there are several theories.

  • Some researchers believe that prostate cancer consists of many different types of cancer cells; some are killed by ADT, but others are able to survive, even thrive, on very low levels of testosterone. Eventually, those cells that survive begin to proliferate and become the dominant type of cancer cells.
  • Other researchers believe that during the course of ADT some cancer cells will mutate in such a manner that they may be able to grow on lower levels of testosterone and then replicate themselves, eventually becoming the dominate cell type.
  • Some believe that it is the androgen receptors on the cancer cells that mutate and become able to take better advantage of the low levels of testosterone
  • There is even a theory that the cancer cells themselves find a way to produce their own, low levels of testosterone, which then enable further cancer cell growth and proliferation.