Natural Compounds in Prostate Cancer Prevention and Treatment: Mechanisms of Action and Molecular Targets
Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
SPILLOproject, 20037 Paderno Dugnano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(2), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9020460
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 10 February 2020 / Accepted: 15 February 2020 / Published: 18 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cancers: Prostate Cancer)
Prostate cancer (PCa) represents a major cause of cancer mortality among men in developed countries. Patients with recurrent disease initially respond to androgen-deprivation therapy, but the tumor eventually progresses into castration-resistant PCa; in this condition, tumor cells acquire the ability to escape cell death and develop resistance to current therapies. Thus, new therapeutic approaches for PCa management are urgently needed. In this setting, natural products have been extensively studied for their anti-PCa activities, such as tumor growth suppression, cell death induction, and inhibition of metastasis and angiogenesis. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that phytochemicals can specifically target the androgen receptor (AR) signaling, as well as the PCa stem cells (PCSCs). Interestingly, many clinical trials have been conducted to test the efficacy of nutraceuticals in human subjects, and they have partially confirmed the promising results obtained in vitro and in preclinical models. This article summarizes the anti-cancer mechanisms and therapeutic potentials of different natural compounds in the context of PCa prevention and treatment.