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Prostate cancer blog: Key Genes In The Development Of Prostate Cancer Discovered

Prostate cancer blog Prostate cancer main Prostate cancer news  

Oct 28, 2005

Key Genes In The Development Of Prostate Cancer Discovered

Key Genes In The Development Of Prostate Cancer Discovered
A key set of genes that is involved in the initiation and production of prostate cancer has been identified. Researchers hail this new finding as a breakthrough in prostate cancer research and say that this may lead to development of more effective diagnostic tests and treatment for prostate cancer.

"This is amazing," says Michael Heinrich, a professor at the Oregon Health and Science University Cancer Institute, who was not involved in the study. "This is the Rosetta Stone of prostate cancer. Cracking the code lets you read the whole library. The implications of this are huge in a lot of different ways."

These research findings were published in the recent issue of the journal Science. This study may form a foundation for further cancer research as per one of the study's authors, Mark Rubin, chief of urologic pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

This finding is revolutionary in the fact that until now researchers were thinking that prostate cancer is the result of lots of random genetic mutations. This study, however, suggests for the first time that prostate cancer begins after specific genes fuse, forming a complex gene promoting growth of prostate cancer. This merged gene was detectable in nearly 80% of 29 prostate cancer samples, says Arul Chinnaiyan, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School who directed the study. None of the 50 samples of non-cancerous tissue had the genes, he says.

This discovery may allow doctors to begin to divide prostate cancer - which is now treated as a single disease - into different types which could lead to more targeted therapies based on the genetic abnormalities.

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Prostate cancer
The prostate gland is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum in male. The tube that carries urine runs through the prostate. The prostate contains cells that make some of the seminal fluid. This fluid protects and nourishes the sperm. Prostate cancer usually starts in the gland cells of the prostate. This kind of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is usually a slow disease, but sometimes it can grow fast and spread quickly to other organs.

Prostate cancer blog: Key Genes In The Development Of Prostate Cancer Discovered

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