Resistance to second-generation androgen receptor antagonists in prostate cancer

Keith T. Schmidt, Alwin D.R. Huitema, Cindy H. Chau, William D. Figg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The introduction of second-generation androgen receptor antagonists (SG-ARAs) has greatly impacted the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer, providing tolerable and efficacious alternatives to chemotherapy. SG-ARAs provide similar therapeutic benefit to abiraterone, a potent CYP17 inhibitor, and do not require the co-administration of prednisone. Despite considerable improvements in clinical outcomes in the settings of both castration sensitivity and castration resistance, the durability of clinical response to the SG-ARAs enzalutamide, apalutamide and darolutamide, similar to abiraterone, is limited by inevitable acquired resistance. Genomic aberrations that confer resistance to SG-ARAs or provide potential alternative treatment modalities have been identified in numerous studies, including alterations of the androgen receptor, DNA repair, cell cycle, PI3K–AKT–mTOR and Wnt–β-catenin pathways. To combat resistance, researchers have explored approaches to optimizing the utility of available treatments, as well as the use of alternative agents with a variety of targets, including AR-V7, AKT, EZH2 and HIF1α. Ongoing research to establish predictive biomarkers for the treatment of tumours with resistance to SG-ARAs led to the approval of the PARP inhibitors olaparib and rucaparib in pre-treated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. The results of ongoing studies will help to shape precision medicine in prostate cancer and further optimize treatment paradigms to maximize clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-226
Number of pages18
JournalNature Reviews Urology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


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