Men with prostate cancer whose disease has spread locally from inside the prostate to immediately outside it are primarily treated with radiation therapy.
However, disease recurs in approximately half of these individuals. Strategies to enhance the efficacy of this treatment and thereby decrease the incidence of disease recurrence are clearly needed. Shawn Lupold and colleagues, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, have now developed an approach that enhances the therapeutic effects of radiation therapy in mice bearing human prostate cancer xenografts.
Specifically, they selectively sensitized the prostate cancer cells to radiation therapy by knocking down expression of the gene responsible for making the protein DNAPK, which is important for repairing damaged DNA. Lupold and colleagues hope that this approach can be developed for the treatment of locally advanced prostate cancer.
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