CONTEXT: Genomic testing is becoming increasingly important in patients with advanced prostate cancer (PC) and is being incorporated in clinical practice to guide treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To review the current understanding of genomic alterations and the status of genomic testing in patients with metastatic castration-resistant PC (mCRPC), and the potential use of genomic tests in clinical practice.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: We reviewed recent publications (past 15 yr) from PubMed, proceedings of scientific conferences, and published guidelines. Reports on mCRPC in the following areas were selected: development, testing, and validation of techniques for identifying genomic alterations; molecular characterization; and trials of genetically targeted therapies.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: mCRPC tumors harbor molecular alterations that are possible targets for treatment, and a number of therapies are in development to exploit these alterations (eg, PD-1 inhibitors, PARP inhibitors, tyrosine kinase inhibitors). Next-generation sequencing of DNA from tumor tissue can identify somatic alterations that would not be identified by germline testing. Work is ongoing to evaluate the use of less invasive somatic testing methods (eg, sequencing of cell-free circulating tumor DNA). Current international guidelines recommend germline and/or somatic testing for men with advanced and/or high-risk PC regardless of family history to identify those with homologous recombination repair gene mutations or mismatch repair defects/microsatellite instability who may be eligible for treatment with a PARP inhibitor or pembrolizumab, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Genomic testing for mCRPC may provide information on prognostic, predictive, and resistance biomarkers. Although the incorporation of testing into clinical practice remains challenging, routine genomic testing of men with advanced PC is recommended to guide management and treatment decisions.

PATIENT SUMMARY: Similar to many cancers, prostate cancer is caused by defects in the cancer's DNA, which are called genetic or genomic defects. New treatments targeting these defects are approved for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Specific new tests are under development to detect these potentially treatable genetic defects.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)519-529
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 04.2021


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