Prostate cancer that regrows in men taking androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) despite very low levels of the male hormone testosterone in the body is called castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). One of the first signs of CRPC is an increasing PSA level. In addition to PSA, other tests are performed to determine if the cancer has spread, or metastasized, to other parts of the body. If the cancer has also spread beyond the prostate to other tissues, most commonly the lymph nodes, bones, liver and/or lung, it is called metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
Men whose prostate cancer has returned despite initial effective therapy now have many more treatment options than they had just a decade ago. In addition to continuing ADT, other currently available treatment options for mCRPC include:
- Other forms of hormone therapy
- Androgen receptor targeted therapy
- Agents to support bone health
- Treatment through clinical trials
Several promising new medicines for the treatment of prostate cancer, including mCRPC, are being tested in clinical trials. These include vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and other types of drugs such as PARP inhibitors. Because mCRPC is still very challenging to treat, men are encouraged to participate in clinical trials.