Finding May Stop Prostate Cancer Spread

Researchers may now be on the road to stopping prostate cancer in its tracks.
Researchers may now be on the road to stopping prostate cancer in its tracks. They’ve identified the way certain tumors become resistant to prostate cancer medications. Dr. Nima Sharifi led this newest study at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

“We’ve really identified a critical mechanism of resistance to standard treatment of prostate cancer and that this is a critical, but first step in terms of developing better treatments.“

Dr. Sharifi says prostate cancer needs androgen to grow. It fuels the tumor. So, prostate cancer is typically treated by using medications which stop the production of androgen and starves the tumor. But certain tumors resist medication and develop the ability to make androgen on it’s own and continue growing-until now. Dr. Sharifi and his team of researchers discovered what causes a tumor to develop it’s own androgen, or essentially make it’s own fuel.

“We have some understanding of how these tumors become resistant and synthesize their own fuel, but no one has ever really described a mutation that’s responsible for performing this function.”

Dr. Sharifi hopes this allows for the development of a drug that can stop the tumor from creating it’s own androgen.

"So, the other aspect of this is this actually provides for a potential drug target for the development of new treatments.”

Dr. Sharifi is hopeful the findings may be used to stop other types of cancer, too. Complete findings for his study are in the journal “Cell.”

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