Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs Key To Understanding Prostate Cancer

Date:
June 13, 2002
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
Science is going to the dogs -- literally -- to clear up some of the mystery surrounding prostate cancer and how it spreads.

Science is going to the dogs – literally – to clear up some of the mystery surrounding prostate cancer and how it spreads.

When some of the most common cancers spread, they often head for the bones. Once there, they typically eat away the good, strong tissue, leaving a soft and crumbly structure in their wake. It is a painful and debilitating condition. But prostate cancer is different. Unlike any other cancer, when prostate cancer spreads to the bones – as it does in 80 percent of all advanced cases – it actually stimulates new bone to grow, not erodes it.

“We’ve really been stumped on how to study this,” says Dr. Tom Rosol, a veterinarian in The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Scientists have managed to develop useful animal models for many cancers to help study the cause and treatment of the disease, but it’s been difficult to come up with one to study prostate cancer. “That’s because every time we put human prostate cancer cells in animals, they stop acting like they do in humans,” says Rosol.

Rosol, who has spent 19 years tracking the molecular intricacies of cancer metastasis, needed to find an animal model that worked. He hypothesized that maybe healthy prostate tissue – as well as cancerous tissue - was capable of sending growth signals to bone.

“There are only two animals in all of nature that get prostate cancer,” says Rosol, “dogs and humans.” Rosol says dogs and human have a lot in common. The canine prostate gland and its diseases are very similar to humans’ and canine prostate tissue produces many of the same bioactive factors believed to be important in metastatic disease.

Since obtaining healthy human tissue would be difficult, Rosol decided to experiment with small bits of healthy prostate tissue from dogs.

He inserted small pieces of the prostate tissue underneath the skin of adult nude mice, right at the skullcap, or calvaria, and waited to see what happened.

“We were shocked,” he says. Within two weeks, the density of the calvaria had just about doubled. “This was really exciting, not just because of the speed of the reaction, but because there are really very few things in nature that induce bone growth.”

Rosol says it is not entirely clear what causes the bone to form, but added it is probably a complex mixture of growth factors such as parathyroid hormone-like protein and endothelin-1, among others, acting in concert with receptive agents in the hosts’ bone.

“We believe endothelin-1 plays a critical role, however,” says Rosol, adding his research team is already working with a drug designed to block endothelin-1 activity, and it looks like it may be working.

The study is published in a recent issue of The Prostate.

Rosol says it is important to continue to develop new and workable animal models to better understand cancer. “With earlier detection and new treatments, cancer patients are living longer than ever, and in many advanced cases, they have to deal with cancer in their bones. We hope that discovery of the mechanisms of bone formation at sites of prostate cancer metastasis in bone will lead one day to the successful prevention of this terrible manifestation of prostate cancer.”

Rosol adds, ironically, that a terrible process like metastasis may hold the very clues to an effective treatment for other diseases, like osteoporosis, that involve bone destruction. “What is devastating for a prostate cancer patient may be a source of hope for someone with osteoporosis.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Dogs Key To Understanding Prostate Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020613072805.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2002, June 13). Dogs Key To Understanding Prostate Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020613072805.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Dogs Key To Understanding Prostate Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/06/020613072805.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins