CU Cancer Center Study Strengthens Prostate Cancer, Vitamin D Link

CU Cancer Center Study Strengthens Prostate Cancer, Vitamin D Link
shutterstock_170733779After many research efforts and long hours spent in the laboratory, a group at the University of Colorado Cancer Center may have identified how vitamin D is connected to prostate cancer. The unifying link: inflammation. "Inflammation is thought to drive many cancers including prostate, gastric, and colon," said James R. Lambert, PhD, in a news release from the center. Dr. Lambert and his colleagues published their findings in The Prostate journal. As described in "Reduced Expression of GDF-15 is Associated with Atrophic Inflammatory Lesions of the Prostate," the gene GDF-15, which is upregulated by vitamin D, is absent in cases of human prostate cancer driven by inflammation. "GDF-15 may be a good thing in keeping prostate tissue healthy – it suppresses inflammation, which is a bad actor potentially driving prostate cancer," explained Dr. Lambert. The road to understanding was not as clear in the beginning. At first, Dr. Lambert's group tested the theory that vitamin D itself could be protective against prostate cancer in general. "When you take Vitamin D and put it on prostate cancer
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Maureen Newman is a science columnist for Pulmonary Hypertension News. She is currently a PhD student studying biomedical engineering at University of Rochester, working towards a career of research in biomaterials for drug delivery and regenerative medicine. She is an integral part of Dr. Danielle Benoit's laboratory, where she is investigating bone-homing therapeutics for osteoporosis treatment.

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