Cancer Stem Cells May Decrease Prostate Tumor Recurrence Following Radiation

Cancer Stem Cells May Decrease Prostate Tumor Recurrence Following Radiation
Researchers have identified one mechanism through which cancer stem cells survive to radiation therapy, which may lead to the development of new therapies that increase their sensitivity and thus decrease the likelihood of the cancer coming back. The study, "Inhibition of the glucocorticoid receptor results in an enhanced miR-99a/100-mediated radiation response in stem-like cells from human prostate cancers," published in Oncotarget, also shows that a standard hormone supplement, Decadron (dexamethasone), used to boost patients' energy levels following radiation therapy, may increase the chances of the cancer returning. Radiation therapy (RT) is a major primary treatment option for localized early stage prostate cancer and regionally un-resectable advanced PCa. Despite significant improvements in radiation therapy, almost one-third of patients still recur within 10 years after the treatment. A number of studies have shown that a small population of cells within the tumor, called cancer stem cells, are more resistant to radiotherapy than the majority of cells, and are directly responsible for tumor reappearance. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) have the ability to reproduce themselves and sustain the cancer, much like what is seen in healthy tissues where normal stem cells renew and sustain the body's organs and tissues. Because CSCs can generate new tumors, if the therapies are not destroying the CSCs the tumor will grow back and
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