New discovery offers hope for the prevention of prostate cancer

Nov 16, 2010
Dr Yong-Jie Lu in the laboratory

(PhysOrg.com) -- Scientists may have found the key to preventing prostate cancer, according to promising new research, published in the journal Cancer Research.

One man dies every hour from . After lung cancer, this disease is the second most common cause of death in men.

Now, a research team at Queen Mary, University of London has discovered that a high level of 'androgens' - chemically related male sex hormones that help the male reproductive system to function properly - trigger a specific genetic change in the prostate that can cause cancer to develop.

This genetic change is the fusion of an androgen-driving gene, with a tumour causing 'oncogene' gene. When these two genes fuse together they activate . This is a major cause of prostate cancer and has been found in more than half of all prostate cancers.

Funded by the male cancer charity Orchid and the Medical Research Council (MRC), this new discovery reveals a critical understanding in the way prostate cancer develops but also presents an opportunity to prevent prostate cancer occurrence by learning how to control androgen levels.

Lead researcher Dr Yong-Jie Lu, from the Institute of Cancer, at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, comments: "This is a significant discovery and a major breakthrough in the future prevention of the disease. If we can learn how to control and manage androgen levels, there is a strong possibility that we may be able to help thousands of men, especially those known to be at high risk from a family history of prostate cancer, from developing the condition all together."

Rebecca Porta, Chief Executive of Orchid comments: "Every year over 35,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed in the UK. Now, more than ever before we need to improve our understanding of this disease and to identify new ways to treat and manage it. The work of Dr Yong-Jie Lu is an important step in this direction. We are very pleased to be supporting his research programme."

Explore further: Prosocial internet support group not beneficial for breast cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists discover key event in prostate cancer progression

Jul 23, 2009

A study led by researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute reveals how late-stage, hormone-independent prostate tumors gain the ability to grow without need of hormones.

Recommended for you

Immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in brain cancers

Nov 21, 2014

New evidence that immune checkpoint inhibitors may work in glioblastoma and brain metastases was presented today by Dr Anna Sophie Berghoff at the ESMO Symposium on Immuno-Oncology 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.

New model of follow up for breast cancer patients

Nov 21, 2014

Public health researchers from the University of Adelaide have evaluated international breast cancer guidelines, finding that there is potential to improve surveillance of breast cancer survivors from both a patient and health ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.