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Scientists discover way to block growth of prostate cancer cells

covery of this pathway is a major step forward in understanding the role of androgen in prostate cancer development.

"Many scientists in the polyamine field have worked towards increasing, rather than decreasing, oxidative stress in order to destroy established tumours. However, no one that I know has tried to reduce oxidative stress by blocking polyamine oxidation to prevent prostate tumours, and this is what we set out to do."

Having discovered the role played by polyamine oxidation, the researchers with the help of their collaborators at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA, synthesised a molecule called MDL 72,527 (MDL), which was previously known to be an inhibitor of acetyl polyamine oxidase (APAO). APAO catalyses the oxidation of acetyl polyamines produced by SSAT ?the process that results in the generation of ROS. MDL can, therefore, block androgen-induced ROS production in prostate cancer cells.

They injected MDL into the genetically engineered mice and found that it inhibited polyamine oxidation and reduced oxidative stress in the prostate glands of the animals. The treatment significantly increased overall survival and delayed time to prostate tumour development. In repeat experiments, between 50-60% of mice treated with MDL survived ten to twelve weeks longer than the untreated control group.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a specific enzyme inhibitor MDL that blocks androgen-induced oxidative stress in the prostate and prevents spontaneous prostate tumour development," said Dr Basu.

More tests have to be carried out, but the researchers, working with the world-renowned prostate cancer clinician Dr George Wilding (a co-author of the paper), hope that phase I clinical trials of MDL might be able to start in 12-18 months.

Dr Basu said: "After surgery and radiotherapy for the primary tumour, breast cancer patients can be treated with several drugs such as tamoxi
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Source:European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer


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