More blood vessels in hormone-resistant prostate tumors

Dec 15, 2009

Patients with advanced prostate cancer are often treated with hormones, but when the tumours start growing again they have more and different blood vessels, reveals a thesis from the Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. This discovery paves the way for new treatments for hormone-resistant prostate cancer.

Late in the course of the disease, when the has spread, most patients are given therapy. This reduces the production of the male sex hormone and the tumour shrinks.

"The problem is that the effect is transient," says molecular biologist Heléne Gustavsson, who wrote the thesis. "Sooner or later the tumour will develop resistance to the hormone treatment and then the cancer will continue to grow, often as secondary tumours in the bones.

Tumours have to make new blood vessels if they are to grow and spread in the body. The thesis shows that the tumours that have relapsed after a patient has been given contain more blood vessels. The blood vessels often also look different to how they looked during the earlier stages of the disease.

Another interesting finding is that levels of a protein known as ADAMTS1 are lower in these aggressive tumours. This protein is known to inhibit the growth of blood vessels. Low levels of the protein in the tumours are associated with more blood vessels and a greater spread of the cancer.

"If we can prevent the tumour from making new blood vessels, we can also prevent the cancer from spreading," says Gustavsson. "Now that we have a better understanding of how the formation of blood vessels is controlled in this stage of prostate cancer, we are in a better position to develop medicines that suppress the formation of new vessels in hormone-resistant prostate cancer."

The research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy will now assess how these changes affect the function of the and their sensitivity to different treatments.

Explore further: New tool to probe cancer's molecular make-up

Provided by University of Gothenburg

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Scientists develop new drug to outflank cancer resistance

Dec 11, 2007

A new drug has shown promising results against breast and prostate cancer cells and tumours that are resistant to conventional hormone-based treatments, according to research published in the British Journal of ...

Innovative method to starve tumors

Feb 11, 2009

The development of cancerous tumours is highly dependent on the nutrients the tumours receive through the blood. The team of Dr. Janusz Rak, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) at the Montreal ...

Socking it to cancer

Aug 02, 2006

An Australian research team has identified a gene that could be used to stop tumours growing by blocking their blood supply.

Recommended for you

New tool to probe cancer's molecular make-up

22 hours ago

Scientists have shown how to better identify and measure vital molecules that control cell behaviour – paving the way for improved tools for diagnosis, prediction and monitoring of cancer.

Mayo Clinic offers at-home colon cancer test

Aug 26, 2014

Mayo Clinic is taking another step toward making detection of colorectal cancer as convenient as possible, announcing Monday an at-home kit that arrives and is sent back in the mail, stool sample included.

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Aug 26, 2014

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas – the primary form of a deadly brain cancer – are resistant to drug therapy. The answer ...

No link found between diverticular disease, cancer

Aug 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Colonic diverticular disease does not appear to be linked to an increased risk of subsequent colorectal cancer (CRC), according to research published in the August issue of Clinical Gastroenterology an ...

User comments : 0