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      Drug Repurposing: A New Hope in Drug Discovery for Prostate Cancer


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          Prostate cancer (PCA), the most common cancer in men, accounted for 1.3 million new incidences in 2018. An increase in incidences is an issue of concern that should be addressed. Of all the reported prostate cancers, 85% were detected in stages III and IV, making them difficult to treat. Conventional drugs gradually lose their efficacy due to the developed resistance against them, thus requiring newer therapeutic agents to be used as monotherapy or combination. Recent research regarding treatment options has attained remarkable speed and development. Therefore, in this context, drug repurposing comes into the picture, which is defined as the “investigation of the off-patent, approved and marketed drugs for a novel therapeutic indication” which saves at least 30% of the time and cost, reducing the cost of treatment for patients, which usually runs high in cancer patients. The anticancer property of cardiac glycosides in cancers was tested in the early 1980s. The trend then shifts toward treating prostate cancer by repurposing other cardiovascular drugs. The current review mainly emphasizes the advantageous antiprostate cancer profile of conventional CVS drugs like cardiac glycosides, RAAS inhibitors, statins, heparin, and beta-blockers with underlying mechanisms.

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          Cancer Statistics, 2021

          Each year, the American Cancer Society estimates the numbers of new cancer cases and deaths in the United States and compiles the most recent data on population-based cancer occurrence. Incidence data (through 2017) were collected by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program; the National Program of Cancer Registries; and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data (through 2018) were collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2021, 1,898,160 new cancer cases and 608,570 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. After increasing for most of the 20th century, the cancer death rate has fallen continuously from its peak in 1991 through 2018, for a total decline of 31%, because of reductions in smoking and improvements in early detection and treatment. This translates to 3.2 million fewer cancer deaths than would have occurred if peak rates had persisted. Long-term declines in mortality for the 4 leading cancers have halted for prostate cancer and slowed for breast and colorectal cancers, but accelerated for lung cancer, which accounted for almost one-half of the total mortality decline from 2014 to 2018. The pace of the annual decline in lung cancer mortality doubled from 3.1% during 2009 through 2013 to 5.5% during 2014 through 2018 in men, from 1.8% to 4.4% in women, and from 2.4% to 5% overall. This trend coincides with steady declines in incidence (2.2%-2.3%) but rapid gains in survival specifically for nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). For example, NSCLC 2-year relative survival increased from 34% for persons diagnosed during 2009 through 2010 to 42% during 2015 through 2016, including absolute increases of 5% to 6% for every stage of diagnosis; survival for small cell lung cancer remained at 14% to 15%. Improved treatment accelerated progress against lung cancer and drove a record drop in overall cancer mortality, despite slowing momentum for other common cancers.
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            Autonomic nerve development contributes to prostate cancer progression.

            Nerves are a common feature of the microenvironment, but their role in tumor growth and progression remains unclear. We found that the formation of autonomic nerve fibers in the prostate gland regulates prostate cancer development and dissemination in mouse models. The early phases of tumor development were prevented by chemical or surgical sympathectomy and by genetic deletion of stromal β2- and β3-adrenergic receptors. Tumors were also infiltrated by parasympathetic cholinergic fibers that promoted cancer dissemination. Cholinergic-induced tumor invasion and metastasis were inhibited by pharmacological blockade or genetic disruption of the stromal type 1 muscarinic receptor, leading to improved survival of the mice. A retrospective blinded analysis of prostate adenocarcinoma specimens from 43 patients revealed that the densities of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve fibers in tumor and surrounding normal tissue, respectively, were associated with poor clinical outcomes. These findings may lead to novel therapeutic approaches for prostate cancer.
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              Mechanisms of resistance in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC)

              Despite advances in prostate cancer diagnosis and management, morbidity from prostate cancer remains high. Approximately 20% of men present with advanced or metastatic disease, while 29,000 men continue to die of prostate cancer each year. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) has been the standard of care for initial management of advanced or metastatic prostate cancer since Huggins and Hodges first introduced the concept of androgen-dependence in 1972, but progression to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) occurs within 2-3 years of initiation of ADT. CRPC, previously defined as hormone-refractory prostate cancer, is now understood to still be androgen dependent. Multiple mechanisms of resistance help contribute to the progression to castration resistant disease, and the androgen receptor (AR) remains an important driver in this progression. These mechanisms include AR amplification and hypersensitivity, AR mutations leading to promiscuity, mutations in coactivators/corepressors, androgen-independent AR activation, and intratumoral and alternative androgen production. More recently, identification of AR variants (ARVs) has been established as another mechanism of progression to CRPC. Docetaxel chemotherapy has historically been the first-line treatment for CRPC, but in recent years, newer agents have been introduced that target some of these mechanisms of resistance, thereby providing additional survival benefit. These include AR signaling inhibitors such as enzalutamide (Xtandi, ENZA, MDV-3100) and CYP17A1 inhibitors such as abiraterone acetate (Zytiga). Ultimately, these agents will also fail to suppress CRPC. While some of the mechanisms by which these agents fail are unique, many share similarities to the mechanisms contributing to CRPC progression. Understanding these mechanisms of resistance to ADT and currently approved CRPC treatments will help guide future research into targeted therapies.

                Author and article information

                ACS Omega
                ACS Omega
                ACS Omega
                American Chemical Society
                29 December 2022
                10 January 2023
                : 8
                : 1
                : 56-73
                [& ]Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research , Guwahati 781003, India
                []Biomedical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) , Ropar, Punjab 140001, India
                [§ ]Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research , Ahmedabad, Gujarat 382355, India
                [# ]Sandip Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Savitribai Phule Pune University , Nashik, Maharashtra 422213, India
                [7 ]Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Hail , Hail 81422, Saudi Arabia
                []Department of Pharmaceutics, Annasaheb Dange College of B. Pharmacy, Ashta, Shivaji University , Sangli, Maharastra 416301, India
                Author notes
                © 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society

                Permits non-commercial access and re-use, provided that author attribution and integrity are maintained; but does not permit creation of adaptations or other derivative works ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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