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Prostate cancer discovery could improve healthcare plans

Published on 02/08/2010
The discovery of the cell from which prostate cancer originates could improve treatments for the disease offered on healthcare plans.

A team from the University of California at Los Angeles has discovered that certain basal cells found in prostate tissue could be the starting point for all incidences of the cancer.

The researchers reached their conclusion after inserting defective genes into the cells known to cause cancer and transferring them into mice with suppressed immune systems, whereupon they became cancerous.

It is hoped the discovery could help develop better diagnostic tests for the disease and lead to more effective treatments.

Previously it had been believed that luminal cells were the source of prostate cancer, but when the scientists implanted these into the mice no effect was reported.

"As we go forward, this gives us a place to look in understanding the sequence of genetic events that initiates prostate cancer and defining the cell signalling pathways that may be at work fuelling the malignancy, helping us to potentially uncover new targets for therapy," commented Dr Owen Witte, one of the study's senior authors.

The report was published in the journal Science.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK men with 36,000 diagnosed with the disease each year.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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