Research conducted since the 1990s has begun to characterize the molecular pathways involved in carcinogenesis of the prostate. The processes of initiation, cell growth and invasion have begun to be elucidated. In addition, influences of the interactions between cancer cells and their environment that contribute to disease progression are the subject of intense study. Some of these factors include alterations in expression of adhesion molecules that regulate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions (Mundy 1997; Prasad et al. 1998; Mason et al. 2002; Ross et al. 2002), matrix-metalloproteinase (MMP) expression (Lokeshwar 1999; Zucker et al. 1999) that contributes to the processes of invasion and metastases, hormone independent growth of prostate cancer cells that have become refractory to androgen ablation therapy (Cronauer et al. 2003), and altered expression of proteins that regulate cell proliferation and apoptosis (Johnson and Hamdy 1998; Westin and Bergh 1998).
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