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Gene fusions may be the 'smoking gun' in prostate cancer development, U-M study finds
Date:5/18/2010

ion of androgen receptor and the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion in prostate cancer cells. The researchers found that the gene fusion blocks the androgen receptor directly and also interferes with it at the genetic level to prevent normal androgen receptor signaling. With the androgen receptor blocked, prostate cells stop growing and developing normally, allowing cancer to develop.

"Our study shows the underlying problem in prostate cancer is the presence of a gene fusion, not the androgen receptor. In many contexts, androgen signaling is actually a good thing, but the presence of the gene fusion blocks androgen receptor signaling, which alters normal prostate cell development. While current treatments for advanced prostate cancer are focused on hormone deprivation and are quite effective, at least initially, future therapies need to be developed that target the prostate cancer gene fusion," Chinnaiyan says.


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Contact: Nicole Fawcett
nfawcett@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert  

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