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Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research Team at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Identifies the Function of a Biomarker Present in Prostate Cancer Cells: New Insight into Therapeutic Benefit for Patients with Advanced Prostate Cancer
Date:7/17/2008

WILMINGTON, Del., July 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The research team at the Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research (NCCCR), a newly established division of Nemours Biomedical Research at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children has discovered that the biomarker called prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA), abundantly present in cancer cells of patients with advanced prostate cancer, has a contributory role in the progression of cancer to an aggressive disease. A biomarker is any biomolecule that is associated with a particular pathological or physiological state of cells and may be used to diagnose and treat a disease or monitor response to therapy.

The discovery, titled "Prostate specific membrane antigen associates with anaphase promoting complex and induces chromosomal instability," is outlined in the July issue of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, an American Association for Cancer Research journal and provides new insights into therapeutic benefit for patients with advanced prostate cancer.

The research was conducted by Dr. Ayyappan K. Rajasekaran, the Director of NCCCR, and his research team while they were at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at NCCCR. The abundance of PSMA in prostate cancer cells increases as the cancer progresses into a metastatic and hormone-independent advanced disease. Dr. Rajasekaran said, "We strongly suspected that PSMA has a potential role in the progression of prostate cancer into an aggressive disease. But how it participates in disease progression was not clear. Now in this study, we identified that PSMA does have an important causative role in prostate cancer progression."

This study was initiated when the researchers found that PSMA was present at the poles of the dividing cells. These poles are complex structures at the opposite ends of the cells that control the separation of chromosomes equally into daughter cells during cell division. "Presence of PSMA at the poles indicated it might
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SOURCE Nemours Center for Childhood Cancer Research
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