A new study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reveals what may be the earliest step in the development of prostate cancer. The finding could open the door to new tests that predict whether the cancer will become aggressive and the development of treatments to prevent the condition from progressing.
The study, published in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer Research, found that when mice are engineered to lose a single copy of a gene called Rb in their prostate, they develop a precancerous condition analogous to the earliest stages of human prostate cancer. Importantly, in the absence of additional genetic defects, the mice do not develop full-blown prostate cancer.
This suggests that the loss of Rb in prostate cells could be the initial spark that in some men eventually leads to prostate cancer, said senior author Norman Greenberg, Ph.D., a member of Fred Hutchinsons Clinical Research Division.
Dean Forbes | EurekAlert!
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