IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Health Care researchers may have found a way to prevent prostate cancer from spreading, according to research findings in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research.
The UI team, led by Mary J.C. Hendrix, Ph.D., professor and head of anatomy and cell biology; her graduate student, Jun Luo; and collaborator David M. Lubaroff, Ph.D., UI professor of urology, found that restoring a lost or decreased protein called E-cadherin hinders the ability of prostate cancer to spread.
"The results of this study provide a potential new therapeutic strategy for targeting invasive prostate cancer," said Hendrix, the associate director of basic research and deputy director for the UI Cancer Center.
"The correlation between the expression of the E-cadherin protein and the spreading of prostate cancer to distant sites may provide another weapon in the battle against this deadly disease," added Lubaroff, the associate director for research infrastructure for the UI Cancer Center.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. Although most of the time the cancer is diagnosed and treated at early stages, some tumors do spread.
"The progression of the disease involves a number of steps, including discrete molecular changes," Hendrix explained. "It is crucial to identify the molecular changes and understand how they fit into the disease progression in order to develop better therapeutic approaches to manage prostate cancer."
Hendrix and her colleagues knew from previous studies that disruptions in the E-cadherin complex were commonly associated with many advanced forms of cancer. E-cadherin is an important intercellular adhesion molecule that helps to maintain the integrity of normal epithelial cells.
With data from laboratory experiments and clinical biopsies, UI researchers and
other investigators elsewhere had suggested there was a correla
Contact: Jennifer Cronin
University of Iowa