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Vitamin E in front line of prostate cancer fight
Date:10/19/2010

Survival rates of the world's most common cancer might soon be increased with a new vitamin E treatment which could significantly reduce tumour regrowth.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) prostate cancer researchers are leading the fight against a disease which kills 3000 Australian men a year.

Dr Patrick Ling, whose research will be a centrepiece of the new $354 million Translational Research Institute (TRI) when it opens in Brisbane, is leading a team of researchers who have identified a particular constituent of vitamin E, known as tocotrienol (T3), which can inhibit the growth of prostate tumours.

Construction of TRI officially began today (October 19) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. The world-class facility brings together some of Queensland's best medical researchers from four leading Australian research facilities to turn their work into accessible and potentially life-saving health treatments.

Dr Ling's research has been funded by Davos Life Science in Singapore, who recently awarded him a further $128,000 to undertake a one-year study of the long-term effectiveness of T3 to prevent the recurrence of treated prostate cancer tumours.

"Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in developed countries," Dr Ling said.

"It is responsible for more male deaths than any other cancer, except lung cancer."

Dr Ling said existing chemotherapy and hormonal therapy treatment of prostate cancer was insufficient because it failed to kill off the prostate cancer stem cells (CSCs) which were believed to be responsible for the regrowth of tumours.

However, the research team have discovered a particular form of T3, called gamma-tocotrienol (γ-T3), can successfully kill off the prostate cancer CSCs.

"Currently there is no effective treatment for metastatic prostate cancer, because it grows back after conventional therapies in more than 70 per cent of cases," he said.


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Contact: Rachael Wilson
rachael.wilson@qut.edu.au
Queensland University of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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