Discovery could pave way for prostate cancer treatmentGene mutations identified
A discovery about how prostate cancers occurs could lead to new treatments for the condition, scientists say.
Researchers from the Institute of Cancer at Queen Mary University in London found that hormones called androgens promote gene mutations.
Specifically, androgens were found to promote the fusion of separate genes. This mutation, in turn, led to prostate cancer.
The scientists, writing in the journal Cancer Research, said: "The TMPRSS2:ERG fusion, detected in approximately 50 per cent of prostate cancers, is the most common fusion gene found in human malignancies."
"This is a significant discovery and a major breakthrough in the future prevention of the disease," said lead scientist Dr Yong-Jie Lu.
"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 altogether," he added.
The research was funded by the Medical Research Council and the male cancer charity Orchid.
This article was published on Mon 15 November 2010
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