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Growth Hormone Linked to Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Animal study finds that rats lacking growth hormone have less invasive tumors

MONDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation leading to lack of growth hormone reduced incidence of cancer and resulted in less invasive tumors in an animal model of aggressive prostate cancer, according to a report published online Dec. 13 in Endocrinology.

Zhuohua Wang, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues examined the role of growth hormone in prostate cancer carcinogenesis by crossing the Spontaneous Dwarf rat, which lacks growth hormone due to a mutation in the growth hormone gene, with the Probasin/TAg rat, which develops prostate carcinomas at 100% incidence by 15 weeks of age.

The researchers found that these rats had a lower incidence and burden of prostate cancer, and tumor latency was delayed compared with rats producing growth hormone. At 25 weeks of age, the animals had reductions in tumor area, and by 52 weeks, most rats did not develop invasive tumors compared with all rats producing growth hormone.

"These findings suggest that growth hormone plays a dominant role in progression from latent to malignant prostate cancer driven by the powerful probasin/TAg fusion gene in rats and suggest that growth hormone antagonists may be effective at treating human prostate cancer," Wang and colleagues conclude.

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