Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New prostate cancer drugs may not target root cause of disease, scientists warn

Date:
January 24, 2014
Source:
University of York
Summary:
New drugs being developed for the treatment of prostate cancer may not be targeting the root cause of the disease, according to research published.

New drugs being developed for the treatment of prostate cancer may not be targeting the root cause of the disease, according to research published in Cell Death & Differentiation.

Scientists at the University of York have discovered that a process called 'methylation', previously thought to drive the development of cancer, occurs in cells that are already cancerous. The findings mean therapies aimed at reversing this process might not be effective against cancer stem cells, allowing the cancer to return.

The work, carried out by Dr Davide Pellacani, a member of Professor Norman Maitland's team at the YCR Cancer Research Unit at the University's Department of Biology, and funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research and the Grand Masonic Charity, reveals a major difference between the cells normally treated in cancer and the underlying 'stem' cells.

Dr Pellacani said: "To develop cancer, certain proteins found in healthy cells need to be switched off. Sometimes this is caused by methylation -- a process where DNA is changed to block instructions for making a specific protein.

"There are obvious differences in the methylation of genes in prostate cancer cells and non-cancer cells. This previously suggested that the process could be driving the progression of cancer, and that this could be reversed by using specific drugs, but our research has suggested that this may not be the case."

Prostate cancer is made up of two types of cell; rare basal cells, including stem cells, from which the tumour is formed, and luminal cells, which form the tumour mass.

The team found that a change from basal to luminal cells -- a process called differentiation -- is strongly linked to the methylation difference, suggesting that the methylation in prostate cancer cells is not the primary driving force for the cancer.

Dr Pellacani continued: "There are clear implications for the effectiveness of new drugs currently being developed to change the methylation pattern in cancers. At the moment we only treat a proportion of the cells. By breaking the cancer down into its component cell types, we get insights into why cancers come back after treatment. Only by treating all the cells in a cancer will we approach long term treatment or even cure."

Professor Maitland and his team at the YCR Cancer Research Unit achieved international recognition in 2005 when they were the first to identify prostate cancer stem cells, which are believed to be the 'root cause' of prostate cancer. The team, now supported by a 2.15m award from Yorkshire Cancer Research, has since explored the exact molecular properties that allow these cells to spread, survive and resist aggressive treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D Pellacani, D Kestoras, A P Droop, F M Frame, P A Berry, M G Lawrence, M J Stower, M S Simms, V M Mann, A T Collins, G P Risbridger, N J Maitland. DNA hypermethylation in prostate cancer is a consequence of aberrant epithelial differentiation and hyperproliferation. Cell Death and Differentiation, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/cdd.2013.202

Cite This Page:

University of York. "New prostate cancer drugs may not target root cause of disease, scientists warn." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124110720.htm>.
University of York. (2014, January 24). New prostate cancer drugs may not target root cause of disease, scientists warn. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124110720.htm
University of York. "New prostate cancer drugs may not target root cause of disease, scientists warn." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140124110720.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Xtreme Eating: Your Daily Caloric Intake All On One Plate

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Center for Science in the Public Interest released its 2014 list of single meals with whopping calorie counts. 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