New Prostate Cancer gene identified


One of my proudest moments as an MP was to get Prostate Cancer drug arbiraterone available on the NHS.

Prostate Cancer is a subject I care deeply and try to keep up to date with medical advances. In the latest issue of the scientific journal, PLOS ONE, scientists at Edinburgh University have identified a gene which could be instrumental in the growth of prostate tumours. The discovery could lead to improved cancer diagnosis and treatment, according to researchers from the University.

The team studied genes that control how the prostate gland is formed and found that one gene, called Decorin, may have a key role in tumour growth. The research team found that the presence of this gene was reduced in tumours compared to normal prostate cells. This observation suggests that Decorin’s normal role may be to slow cancer growth. In addition it is hoped that measurement of Decorin levels could become a reliable diagnostic test for prostate cancer and how aggressive the disease is.

Dr Kate Holmes, from Prostate Cancer UK, said: "This type of early stage research is vital to help us improve our understanding of prostate cancer development and move towards finding better ways to diagnose and treat the disease.

"Every year 10,000 men lose their lives to the disease, yet we still have very little knowledge of how prostate tumours develop and grow. It is vital that more research of this nature is undertaken and supported so that more clues, such as these, can be discovered."


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