Neuroendocrine differentiation in prostate cancer: Novel morphological insights and future therapeutic perspectives

Matteo Santoni, Alessandro Conti, Luciano Burattini, Rossana Berardi, Marina Scarpelli, Liang Cheng, Antonio Lopez-Beltran, Stefano Cascinu, Rodolfo Montironi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

34 Scopus citations


Neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) is an aggressive variant of prostate cancer that commonly arises in later stages of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) The detection of NEPC has clinical implications as these patients are often treated with platinum chemotherapy rather than with androgen receptor targeted therapies. The poor molecular characterization of NEPC accounts in part for the lack of disease specific therapeutics. Several mechanisms are involved in NE differentiation, including inflammation and autophagy, and may actually represent future therapeutic targets for advanced NEPC patients. Furthermore, a growing body of evidence suggests a potential role of circulating tumor cells in the early diagnosis and treatment of NEPC.Here we summarize the recent findings on NEPC pathogenesis and we discuss the ongoing clinical trials and future perspectives for the treatment of NEPC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Androgen deprivation therapy
  • Carcinoid
  • Drug resistance
  • Large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine prostate cancer
  • Small cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Genetics
  • Medicine(all)

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