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Prostate cancer advance could improve treatment options
Date:2/12/2014

don, and at UEA.

Dr Clark said: "By the age of 60, the majority of men will have signs of prostate cancer. However, only a small proportion of men will die of the disease. The question is - which of these cancers are dangerous and which are not? Deciding which cancers are going to progress and kill the patient is key to effective patient treatment."

"Prostate cancer thrives on male hormones, and cutting the supply of hormones to the cancer is a main avenue of therapy. Prostate cancer only kills the patient when it becomes immune to these therapies. A third of these killer cancers are immune to therapy because they have boosted the number of male hormone receptor (AR) genes in their DNA. This gene boosting, also known as amplification, has been thought to be a response of the tumour to the hormone reduction therapy itself.

"Our research has shown that an early form of this hormone-gene boosting is present in a number of prostate cancers that have never been treated with hormone reduction therapy. We think that it is these cancers that will grow and kill the patient.

"This discovery can be used to identify these killer cancers in patients much earlier than is currently possible. Patients could then be selected for more aggressive therapy before the cancer has developed full immunity."

The research team looked at biomarkers from almost 600 patients prior to hormone-withdrawal therapy. But the method of identification used was labour intensive and time consuming. Developing ways of identifying patients for early therapeutic intervention will be key to implementing this discovery in the clinic. The research team are currently looking at more rapid ways of identifying patients that will develop aggressive cancer.


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Contact: Lisa Horton
press@uea.ac.uk
01-603-593-496
University of East Anglia
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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