Prostate cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among males in the U.S. next to skin cancer. It affects 1 out of 7 male Americans, and is ranked the second most common cause of death among men.
While the American Cancer Society reveals there are more than 2.5 million prostate cancer survivors today and that most who are diagnosed do not die from it, it is still considered a serious and fatal disease, especially when treated late as advanced stages may build resistance to available drugs.
A group of scientists from Baylor College of Medicine recently completed a study on mice that suggests the key to treating resistant advanced prostate cancer lies in developing an androgen blocker for a nuclear receptor coactivator dubbed as NCoA2 or SRC-2. Their findings, titled “Androgen deprivation–induced NCoA2 promotes metastatic and castration-resistant prostate cancer“, are available in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Hyperplasia of the prostate was observed to be a result of high levels of SRC-2. Its overexpression in mice models led to the activation of the PI3K/AKT and MAPK signaling, pathway that made the tumor more malignant. Furthermore, analysis of an advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patient samples revealed a strong correlation between NCoA2-mediated signaling, disease progression, and PCa recurrence.
Co-author Dr. Ming-Jer Tsai, a professor of molecular and cellular biology and current holder of the Charles C. Bell, Jr. Professorship in Cell Biology at BCM, explained that their findings showed blocking androgens stimulated an increased production of SRC-2, which drove the cancer’s progression and is a major factor in its development into castration-resistant prostate cancer. The researchers recommend future research and development to explore formulating an SRC-2 specific blocker to prevent and reduce malignancy.
In other prostate cancer news, scientists from the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio have recently improved a risk calculator designed to help men and their doctors assess their risk of developing prostate cancer.