Protein May Be Key to Prostate Cancer

Stat5 a new target in more aggressive tumors

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FRIDAY, July 16, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Scientists say they have zeroed in on a new target in the fight against aggressive prostate cancer.

Researchers at Georgetown University's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center say prostate cancer is much more likely to be aggressive if a key protein called Stat5 is both plentiful and active within cancer cells.

Their study found that active Stat5 protein was highly concentrated in aggressive prostate cancers. The protein is thought to send cellular signals prompting cancer growth.

"If we can find a way to stop Stat5 from turning on in prostate cancer cells, we may be able to devise a new strategy for treating this disease," said Dr. Marja Nevalainen, assistant professor of oncology at Georgetown.

The researchers also are looking into whether Stat5 can serve as an effective marker for cancer diagnosis.

Their study was published in the July 15th issue of Cancer Research.

More information

Learn more about the disease and its treatment from the National Cancer Institute.

SOURCES: Georgetown University Medical Center, news release, July 15, 2004

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