Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Popular Prostate Cancer Treatment May Encourage Spread Of Cancer, Study Suggests

Date:
October 2, 2007
Source:
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Summary:
A popular prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy may encourage prostate cancer cells to produce a protein that makes them more likely to spread throughout the body, a new study suggests. This is a preliminary finding.

A popular prostate cancer treatment called androgen deprivation therapy may encourage prostate cancer cells to produce a protein that makes them more likely to spread throughout the body, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers suggests.

Related Articles


Although the finding could eventually lead to changes in this standard treatment for a sometimes deadly disease, the Johns Hopkins researchers caution that their discovery is far too preliminary for prostate cancer patients or physicians to stop using it. The therapy is effective at slowing tumor growth, they emphasized.

David Berman, an assistant professor of pathology, urology and oncology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his colleagues identified the unsuspected potential problem with treatments that suppress testosterone after discovering that the gene that codes for the protein, called nestin, was active in lab-grown human prostate cancer cells.

Curious about whether prostate cancer cells in people also produce nestin, the researchers looked for it in cells taken from men who had surgery to remove locally confined cancers of their prostates and found none. But when they looked for nestin in prostate cancer cells isolated from patients who had died of metastatic prostate cancer - in which cancer cells spread out from the prostate tumor - they found substantial evidence that the nestin gene was active.

What was different, Berman speculated, is that androgen deprivation therapy, a treatment that reduces testosterone in the body, is generally given only when prostate cancers become aggressive and likely to metastasize.

Because prostate cancer growth is typically stimulated by testosterone, the treatment is thought to slow tumor growth and weaken the disease. Patients who eventually die because their disease metastasizes are almost certain to have received this type of therapy, he says.

Speculating that depriving cells of androgens might also, however, affect nestin expression, the researchers experimented on a prostate cancer cell line that depends on androgens to grow. When they removed androgens from the chemical mixture that the cells live in, their production of nestin increased.

Aware that the nestin gene has long been suggested to play some role in cell growth and development, Berman and his colleagues used a bit of laboratory sabotage called RNA interference to decrease the genetic expression of nestin and found that these cells weren't able to move around and through other cells nearly as well as cells with normal nestin levels.

Prostate cancer cells with hampered nestin expression were also less likely than normal prostate cancer cells to migrate to other parts of the body when transplanted into mice. However, while nestin expression seemed pivotal for metastasis in these experiments, it didn't seem to make a difference in tumor growth.

"What all this suggests is that nestin levels increased when prostate cancer cells are deprived of androgens and may encourage the cells to metastasize," says Berman.

Besides Berman, other Johns Hopkins researchers involved in this study were Wolfram Kleeberger, M.D., G. Steven Bova, M.D., Matthew E. Nielsen, M.D., Mehsati Herawi, M.D., Ph.D., Ai-Ying Chuang, M.D., and Jonathan I. Epstein, M.D.

The research, published in the Oct. 1 issue of Cancer Research, was funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Evensen Family Foundation, and German Cancer Aid Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Popular Prostate Cancer Treatment May Encourage Spread Of Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001081614.htm>.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007, October 2). Popular Prostate Cancer Treatment May Encourage Spread Of Cancer, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001081614.htm
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. "Popular Prostate Cancer Treatment May Encourage Spread Of Cancer, Study Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071001081614.htm (accessed February 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, February 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Sleeping Too Much Or Too Little Might Increase Stroke Risk

Newsy (Feb. 26, 2015) People who sleep more than eight hours per night are 45 percent more likely to have a stroke, according to a University of Cambridge study. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

Michigan Couple Celebrates Identical Triplets

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming parents to identical triplets _ a multiple birth a doctor calls rare. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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