Review Article

Molecular aspects of prostate cancer with neuroendocrine differentiation

Qi Li, Connie S. Zhang, Yifen Zhang


Neuroendocrine differentiation (NED), which is not uncommon in prostate cancer, is increases in prostate cancer after androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) and generally appears in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Neuroendocrine cells, which are found in normal prostate tissue, are a small subset of cells and have unique function in regulating the growth of prostate cells. Prostate cancer with NED includes different types of tumor, including focal NED, pure neuroendocrine tumor or mixed neuroendocrine-adenocarcinoma. Although more and more studies are carried out on NED in prostate cancer, the molecular components that are involved in NED are still poorly elucidated. We review neuroendocrine cells in normal prostate tissue, NED in prostate cancer, terminology of NED and biomarkers used for detecting NED in routine pathological practice. Some recently reported molecular components which drive NED in prostate cancer are listed in the review.