THERAPY PROMOTES CANCER?
ANCHOR LEAD: ONE COMMON THERAPY FOR PROSTATE CANCER MAY ACTUALLY PROMOTE A MORE AGGRESSIVE FORM OF THE DISEASE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Androgen deprivation therapy is used in men with prostate cancer to reduce their levels of the hormone testosterone, which at least some prostate cancer cells require. But research from Johns Hopkins shows that the therapy may encourage prostate cancer cells to produce a new protein called nestin, which may help them spread throughout the body. David Berman, the study’s author, explains that androgen deprivation was never regarded as a cure.
BERMAN: It’s long been known that it’s not a curative treatment, it’s a palliative treatment. So it makes patients feel better for awhile, but eventually, after a very variable amount of time, the cancer comes roaring back, and when it does it’s no longer sensitive to that treatment, and it’s in that setting that we see nestin production, and in some ways we can think of this as we now have a new opportunity to understand how that works and to find out what nestin’s partners in crime are and to target them. :29
I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.