Prostate 'growth' gene identified

Posted: August 4, 2012 at 8:14 am

3 August 2012 Last updated at 20:13 ET

Scientists from Edinburgh University have pinpointed a gene they say could lead to improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

The team studied genes that control the formation of the prostate gland and identified one known as Decorin.

The presence of this gene was reduced in tumours compared to normal prostate cells.

The researchers now hope measurement of Decorin levels could become a reliable diagnostic test for prostate cancer.

The study by scientists from the Centre for Reproductive Health was funded by Prostate Cancer UK and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

They believe the gene, Decorin, may play an important role in tumour growth.

Lead researcher, Dr Axel Thomson, said: "We pinpointed which genes were active in embryonic prostate development and compared their behaviour in the development of prostate cancer.

"Through this process we were excited to discover that the presence of one gene - Decorin - was reduced in tumours compared to normal prostate cells.

"This observation suggests that Decorin's normal role may be to slow cancer growth, which is a really exciting possibility.

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Prostate 'growth' gene identified

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