Navigation Links
Advance Toward Test for Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Date:2/14/2010

Scientists find gene that drives tumor spread, say it could be target for screening

SUNDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Harvard researchers report what they say is a major advance toward the long-sought goal of a genetic test that can distinguish between aggressive prostate cancers that require urgent treatment and slow-growing tumors that can safely be left alone.

Today, many men diagnosed with prostate cancer are treated with radiation or chemotherapy even though most of those cancers will grow so slowly that they are not dangerous. It is the cancers that metastasize -- spread outside the prostate gland -- that typically are life-threatening.

"For the first time, we showed in a mouse model that when you take a gene out, you get metastasis and when you put it back in you don't get metastasis," said study author Karen Cichowski, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of genetics at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. "It looks like the entire pathway is driven by this one gene, the cascade that drives metastasis."

Studies of human prostate cancers have shown the same effect, she said: "We have looked at the genetic pathway in a large number of human tumors, and have found it to be deregulated in more advanced prostate cancers."

The finding could lead to better treatment of prostate cancer, because the molecule whose production is governed by the gene can be a target of drug therapy, Cichowski said.

The molecule, designated EZH2, is an enzyme, and "enzymes are always good potential therapeutic targets," she said. "Many companies are working to develop EZH2 inhibitors."

The Brigham and Women's program is one of a number being carried out in competitive fashion at several U.S. medical research centers. They are looking at a cluster of genes whose connection with prostate cancer was first described in 2002 by Jer-Tsong Hsieh, a professor of pathology and urology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

"We complement each other; our findings are very similar," Hsieh said of the Harvard work. "I am a cell biologist and look for the protein. She uses a genetic approach."

Hsieh's group has published several papers on the research, one as recent as last month. One current effort is to develop a chemical reagent that can detect the enzyme, he said.

Another researcher in prostate cancer genetics is Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan, a professor of pathology and urology at the University of Michigan.

The newly reported study "provides a nice mechanistic link as to why EZH2 leads to metastatic cancer," Chinnaiyan said. "It is exciting because there is a lot of interest in the biotechnology world in developing inhibitors of EZH2."

His laboratory is working on such inhibitors, Chinnaiyan added.

"Chinnaiyan showed that this gene for EZH2 is highly expressed in advanced prostate cancer," Cichowski said. "Hsieh showed that a second gene in this genetic pathway was a target of EZH2 and could be silenced by EZH2. It was one of 250 genes targeted by EZH2. We showed that in a mouse model the gene is the primary target of EZH2 in prostate cancer."

That gene, DAB2IP, is suppressed in human prostate cancer, and the degree of suppression correlates with the aggressiveness of a cancer, the journal report said.

"This is the first study to definitively show not only the gene but also the pathway that drives metastasis in prostate cancer," Cichowski said. "Now that we know this pathway, there are many ways to target it."

More information

Complete information about prostate cancer is provided by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Karen Cichowski, Ph.D., assistant professor, medicine, division of genetics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Jer-Tsong Hsieh, Ph.D., professor, urology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., professor, pathology and urology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Feb. 14, 2010, Nature Medicine, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. SNMs Conjoint Mid-Winter Meetings continue to advance molecular imaging
2. UH Case Medical Center researchers publish promising findings for advanced cervical cancer
3. Racial disparities persist in the diagnosis of advanced breast cancer and colon cancer in the U.S.
4. Stem Cell Research Makes Another Advance
5. Sunquest Advances Investment in Innovations Team
6. Frost & Sullivan Ghanaian Pharmaceutical Industry Innovation & Advancement Award Conferred on LaGray Chemical Company
7. Institute for Healthcare Advancement's Ninth Annual Health Literacy Conference Set for May 6-7, 2010 in Irvine, Calif.
8. New paper describes important advance in imaging of cell death
9. New Drug Slows Advanced Kidney Cancer
10. Mayo Clinic and IBM Advance Early Detection of Brain Aneurysms
11. Mayo Clinic and IBM advance early detection of brain aneurysms
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... April 30, 2016 , ... Orlando-based Maximized Living has selected Dr. Nick ... in Rio. Under the care of Maximized Living doctors at the London Olympics ... showing, Maximized Living is sending the largest contingent of elite chiropractors to Rio to ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Memorial Healthcare System Graduate Medical ... (ACGME) that it has received accreditation for its residency program on Physical Medicine ... that Memorial is currently pursuing, including Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. This accreditation allows ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Dr. Bernie ... best seller "LOVE, MEDICINE and MIRACLES") addresses touchy topics related to Death live ... thereafter . Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of a plethora of essential books-to-read ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Spine Team Texas, a ... proud to announce one of their physicians has been invited to be a featured ... ACOFP) Family Practice Review conference on April 30, 2016. , Dr. R. Scott ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... ... Melanoma is the deadliest type of skin cancer. Although only about 1 percent of skin ... More than 10,000 people are expected to die of melanoma this year. The risk increases ... of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in young women. A recent breakthrough in genetic studies ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016  Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX ... the fiscal second quarter ended March 26, 2016.  ... increased 41.2%, and non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.47 ... on a reported basis, and 6.3% on a ... another good quarter, highlighted by 14.6% growth in ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016   ... 42% Growth in Recurring Consumable Sales  Clinical ... Mauna Kea Technologies (Euronext: MKEA, OTCQX: MKEAY) inventor of ... its sales for the first quarter ended March 31, ... the execution of its commercial strategy. First ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016   Zillion Group today announced ... platform, which specializes in live video consultation. Turning ... products, Zillion enables companies to realize the true ... take control of their health. ... including one-to-one, group and webcast scheduled or on-demand ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: