Management of prostate cancer. Part 1: chemoprevention.
Numerous agents have been investigated in prostate cancer prevention. Many manipulate sex steroid levels or function, some regulate response to oxidative stress and others affect tumor proliferation and/or apoptosis. Some are postulated to even affect downstream targets, such as cyclooxygenase-2, which has been shown to be elevated in prostate cancer by most investigators. The evidence for all these potential chemopreventive agents is critically reviewed. While the current information base is vast, level 1 evidence is lacking, and ongoing trials are not due to provide such evidence for many years to come. In addition, the current lack of ability to accurately differentiate clinically important prostate cancer from latent disease makes chemoprevention in this setting even more challenging. Currently, no reliable biomarkers that can act as surrogate endpoints for the development of clinically relevant prostate cancer exist, which makes performing large chemoprevention trials expensive. At present, there is little to suggest that the urologist or General Practitioner should be recommending any particular chemopreventive agent to either the general population or those deemed to be at higher risk of contracting prostate cancer.