Researchers confirm genetic alteration that triggers prostate cancer in mice and man

Jan 28, 2008

A team of researchers led by Valeri Vasioukhin, Ph.D., and Peter Nelson, M.D., both investigators in the Human Biology Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has confirmed that a molecular change found in human prostate cancers triggers the growth of prostate cancer in mice and in human cell lines. Their findings will be published Jan. 28 in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A significant proportion of human prostate cancers carry a chromosomal rearrangement that results in the overexpression of the ETS transcription factor ERG, a protein that controls gene expression. Until now, the functional significance of this event has been poorly understood.

Studying prostate cells in transgenic mice, Vasioukhin, Nelson and colleagues at the Hutchinson Center and the University of Washington found that up-regulation of ERG transcript initiates cancer growth. They found a similar effect in human prostate cells. They hypothesize that up-regulation of ERG in human prostate cancer activates cell-invasion programs, causing the displacement of basal cells by neoplastic epithelium, or cancerous tissue.

As such, they suggest that ERG should be considered as a target for prostate-cancer prevention or early therapeutic intervention.

Source: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Explore further: Scientists find way to target cells resistant to chemo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists create new nanoparticle for cancer therapy

Apr 16, 2014

A University of Texas at Arlington physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead happened upon an advance in photodynamic cancer therapy.

It slices, it dices, and it protects the body from harm

Mar 01, 2014

An essential weapon in the body's fight against infection has come into sharper view. Researchers at Princeton University have discovered the 3D structure of an enzyme that cuts to ribbons the genetic material ...

Patent approved for cancer-fighting process

Feb 13, 2014

A new process developed at the University of Victoria that will help oncologists better identify and target cancerous tumours has been granted a US patent. The patented technology involves synthesizing lanthanide (rare earth ...

Recommended for you

New breast cancer imaging method promising

2 hours ago

The new PAMmography method for imaging breast cancer developed by the University of Twente's MIRA research institute and the Medisch Spectrum Twente hospital appears to be a promising new method that could ...

Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer

2 hours ago

End-of-life aspects, the corresponding terminology, and the relevance of palliation in advanced cancer are often not considered in publications on randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This is the result of an analysis by ...

Breast cancer replicates brain development process

2 hours ago

New research led by a scientist at the University of York reveals that a process that forms a key element in the development of the nervous system may also play a pivotal role in the spread of breast cancer.

Is genetic instability the key to beating cancer?

4 hours ago

Cancerous tumors may be poised at the edge of their own destruction, an insight that could help researchers find new, more effective treatments, suggest SFI External Professor Ricard Solé and colleagues in an April 9 paper ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Team reprograms blood cells into blood stem cells in mice

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have reprogrammed mature blood cells from mice into blood-forming hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), using a cocktail of eight genetic switches called transcription factors. The reprogrammed ...

Cell resiliency surprises scientists

New research shows that cells are more resilient in taking care of their DNA than scientists originally thought. Even when missing critical components, cells can adapt and make copies of their DNA in an alternative ...