Prostate gene deficit could boost tumor growth

Levels of a gene that helps the prostate to develop in the growing embryo could be used as a biomarker in prostate cancer, according to research carried out at the University of Edinburgh (U.K.), and sponsored by the charity Prostate Cancer UK. Lead researcher Dr. Axel Thomson said: "We pinpointed which genes were active in embryonic prostate development and compared their behavior in the development of prostate cancer. Through this process we were excited to discover that the presence of one gene--Decorin--was reduced in tumors compared to normal prostate cells." Variations in levels of Decorin could be used to diagnose prostate cancer and predict its aggressiveness, and the gene itself could be a target for developing cancer therapeutics. Press release | Abstract | Article