Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Uncover How Prostate Cancer Cells Defy Death

Date:
July 27, 2006
Source:
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
New findings about how prostate cancer cells are able to resist hormone treatment and defy death may lead to more effective drug treatments, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

New findings about how prostate cancer cells are able to resist hormone treatment and defy death may lead to more effective drug treatments, according to researchers from Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

"We hope this will lead to new treatments or ways to monitor treatment to make sure it's having its intended effect," said George Kulik, Ph.D., D.V.M., assistant professor of cancer biology and senior researcher.

The goal of the research was to uncover how prostate cancer cells become resistant to treatment that lowers levels of male hormones such as testosterone, which the cells normally need to survive. They found that a protein known as BAD is involved in three different survival strategies used by the cancer cells. Their results are published in the July 28th issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

"The normal response of prostate cells when male hormones are blocked is cell death," said Kulik. "The cancer cells find a way to resist the treatment and we wanted to discover the mechanism."

Treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and hormone therapy, also known as androgen ablation therapy because it reduces levels of the male hormones that can stimulate the growth certain types of prostate cancer. Lowering hormone levels makes prostate cancer shrink or grow more slowly. It is considered the most efficient systemic therapy for prostate cancer. However, nearly all prostate cancers become resistant to this treatment over time.

The researchers evaluated three different pathways involved in cell signaling, the complex system of communication that governs cell actions. It had previously been shown that three pathways (activated by vasoactive intestinal peptide, epidermal growth factor or phosphoinositide 3-kinase) are known to be involved in cell survival. The goal of the researchers was to learn how these pathways are involved in the cancer cells resisting death. They found that all three signaling pathways work by inactivating a protein known as BAD that causes cell death.

Kulik said it appears that each of the three molecules is separately capable of inactivating BAD, which means that prostate cancer cells have three redundant survival mechanisms.

"Our findings suggest that BAD is an important switch in the development and growth of prostate cancer," said Kulik.

Next, the researchers hope to conduct animal studies to test their findings.

"If our finding is confirmed in animals and in human tumors, there are important implications for therapy," said Kulik.

For example, scientists could develop a drug to prevent BAD from being inhibited. Or, they could use the findings to test current drugs designed to block the effects of PI3K, one of the molecules. This would involve monitoring the status of BAD to see if the drugs were having their intended effects.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. The society estimates that there will be about 234,460 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2006. About 27,350 men will die of this disease. Prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men, after lung cancer and colorectal cancer.

Funding for the study included grants from the Department of Defense and the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Co-researchers were Konduru Sastry, Ph.D., Adrienne Joy Smith, B.S., Yelena Karpova, B.S., all with Wake Forest, and Sandeep Datta, M.D., Ph.D., with Columbia University.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Researchers Uncover How Prostate Cancer Cells Defy Death." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060727162710.htm>.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. (2006, July 27). Researchers Uncover How Prostate Cancer Cells Defy Death. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060727162710.htm
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. "Researchers Uncover How Prostate Cancer Cells Defy Death." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060727162710.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

Two US Ebola Patients Leave Hospital Free of the Disease

AFP (Aug. 21, 2014) Two American missionaries who were sickened with Ebola while working in Liberia and were treated with an experimental drug are doing better and have left the hospital, doctors say on August 21, 2014. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

American Ebola Patients Released: What Cured Them?

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) It's unclear whether the American Ebola patients' recoveries can be attributed to an experimental drug or early detection and good medical care. 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