New link between growth factors and early prostate cancer found

Nov 08, 2010

A new study by researchers from the University of Bristol, presented at the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) conference today, has found potential new biomarkers for very early prostate cancer in men with no symptoms of the disease.

The researchers, from the University’s School of Social and Community Medicine, investigated levels of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) in whose cancer had been detected through PSA screening.

They compared 2,686 men with prostate cancer with 2,766 men who didn’t have cancer and found that specific growth factors (IGF-II) and proteins (IGFBP-2 and IGFBP-3) were all linked to an increased risk of the disease.

But they found there was no link between the best known growth factor (IGF-1) levels and a higher risk of prostate cancer.

The growth factors – IGFs and IGFBPs – regulate normal growth and development of organs and tissues, especially during foetal development and childhood.

Dr Mari-Anne Rowlands, study author from the University of Bristol, said: “It’s too early to be certain but these results suggest that we may have identified potential novel for very early prostate cancer in men with no symptoms. 

“Now we need more research to determine whether levels of these potential biomarkers predict which prostate cancers detected by screening might progress to become life-threatening. 

“We can then start to examine how diet or lifestyle factors might affect levels of these growth factors levels and whether changing these could reduce a man’s risk of prostate cancer, or for men with the disease, how quickly it might progress.”

Professor Malcolm Mason, Cancer Research UK’s prostate cancer expert, said: “Identifying men at greater risk of developing is a major priority at the moment, since it may be that offering them screening would have greater benefits than the very small benefits seen when the whole population is screened.  This study could be a very important step forward in identifying such men who should be screened.”

Explore further: Gene test aids cancer profile

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Men who take aspirin have significantly lower PSA levels

Nov 16, 2008

The use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is significantly associated with lower PSA levels, especially among men with prostate cancer, say researchers at Vanderbilt University.

Recommended for you

Gene test aids cancer profile

5 hours ago

The first round of chemotherapy did little to suppress Ron Bose's leukemia. The second round, with 10 times the dose, knocked the proliferating blast cells down, but only by half.

Hospital volume not linked to costs of cancer surgery

20 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Hospital surgical volume does not appear to correlate with Medicare payments for cancer surgery, according to research published online Nov. 24 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

How a common antacid could lead to cheaper anti-cancer drugs

22 hours ago

A popular indigestion medication can increase survival in colorectal cancer, according to research published in ecancermedicalscience. But in fact, scientists have studied this for years - and a group of cancer advocates want t ...

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.