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Experimental agent blocks prostate cancer in animal study
Date:5/22/2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio An experimental drug has blocked the progression of prostate cancer in an animal model with an aggressive form of the disease, new research shows.

The agent, OSU-HDAC42, belongs to a new class of drugs called histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, compounds designed to reactivate genes that normally protect against cancer but are turned off by the cancer process.

The study, conducted by the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers who also developed the drug, showed that the agent kept mice with a precancerous condition from developing advanced prostate cancer.

Instead, the animals either remained at the precancerous stage, called prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), or they developed benign enlargements of the prostate called adenomas. The main side effect of the treatment was a reversible shrinkage of the testicles.

Of the animals not given the drug, 74 percent developed advanced prostate cancer.

The findings are reported in the May 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research. Human testing of the compound is expected to begin early next year.

This study shows that an agent with a specific molecular target can dramatically inhibit prostate cancer development in an aggressive model of the disease, says coauthor Dr. Steven Clinton, director of the prostate and genitourinary oncology clinic at Ohio States James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. We hope to see this agent in clinical trials soon and ultimately used for prostate-cancer prevention or therapy.

Furthermore, when the drug treatment was stopped after 24 weeks, two of the animals were followed for an additional 18 weeks. The animals developed adenomas but were alive after 42 weeks, well beyond their normal 32-week life span.

The drug not only kept the animals cancer free, but also prolonged their life span, says Ching-Shih Chen, who led the drugs development and the new study at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. Che
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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
darrell.ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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