Growth of Same Patient’s Healthy and Cancerous Prostate Cells in Lab May Lead to Tailored Therapies

Growth of Same Patient’s Healthy and Cancerous Prostate Cells in Lab May Lead to Tailored Therapies
Researchers have grown a patient's normal prostate cells and his cancerous cells in a lab for the first time without altering their genetic features. The step could lead to better understanding of the genetic drivers of prostate cancer and tailored therapies for treating it. The study, "Conditionally reprogrammed normal and primary tumor prostate epithelial cells: a novel patient-derived cell model for studies of human prostate cancer," was published in Oncotarget. "This is a new and much-needed platform for prostate cancer research," Xuefeng Liu, MD, a member of the Center for Cell Reprogramming (CCR) at Georgetown University Medical Center, said in a press release. "By matching normal and cancer cells from a patient, we can now study the differences — what molecules are key to tumor development and growth, and, ultimately, match treatments that might disable this cancer," said Liu, the study's lead investigator. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., with an estimated 220,800 new cases and more than 27,000 deaths in 2015 alone. The disease varies considerably from patient to patient. It can grow slowly, aggressively, or at both rates at different times. Because researchers have been unable to grow both a patient's healthy and cancerous prostate cells in a lab, it has been difficult to understand the basic biology of the disease and find targeted therapies for it. The study's findings suggest this might soon be possible. Liu and his team were able to grow healthy and malignant cells from a 57-year-old man who had to have his prostate removed. They used a technique that Liu, Richard Schlegel, an MD and PhD who is the center director, and other Georgetown researchers developed to grow several types of human cells in th
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