Gene-regulator Therapy Could Help Keep Prostate Cancer from Spreading, Study Says

dna strand

Recently, researchers at Roswell Park Cancer Institute have found a naturally occurring molecule that limits the invasive capacity of prostate cancer.  This suggests that cancer could be prevented from spreading by treating patients with a man-made version of the factor. Using both animals and humans in their work, they screened for the molecule, miR-141. A microRNA (miRNA) that helps control gene activity.

Excerpt from reference article-
To their surprise, they found only a few miRNAs in lower levels than normal. When they manipulated the cells to produce more of the missing factors, miR-141 was the only one that could prevent cancer growth. Testing the molecule in a number of prostate cancer models, the team showed the factor also prevented metastases.

“This study represents the most comprehensive investigation to date of the role of the miR-141 molecule in regulating prostate cancer stem cells and their role in metastasis,” Dean Tang, PhD, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Roswell and senior author of the study, said in a press release.

“These preliminary findings suggest that miR-141 may suppress the metastatic cascade at an early stage and that the overexpression of miR-141 in prostate cancer cells results in less metastasis. Our observations provide a rationale for developing these targeted miRNA molecules into novel antitumor and antimetastasis replacement therapies.”

The study, published in the journal  Nature Communications can be found here, “MicroRNA-141 suppresses prostate cancer stem cells and metastasis by targeting a cohort of pro-metastasis genes,”