Researchers discover way to delay prostate cancer progression

Antibodies specific to the protein N-cadherin could not only delay prostate cancer metastasis and progression to castration resistance, but also induce tumor regression. The primary cause of death among men with prostate cancer is the development of metastatic disease that is resistant to androgen-deprivation therapy. So, a team of researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, set out to identify alternative pathways to castration resistance.

Robert Reiter and his colleagues conducted a series of investigations using prostate cancer cell cultures, mice transplanted with androgen-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells, and tissue samples obtained from men who had died from prostate cancer. The team reports in the journal Nature Medicine that N-cadherin expression was absent in hormone-sensitive prostate cancer cells but present in castration-resistant cells.

"The finding that N-cadherin-targeted antibodies delay castration-resistant progression and inhibit growth, invasion, and metastasis raises the possibility that these antibodies may be translatable to the clinic," the researchers concluded.

"This therapy may be particularly useful in men who are failing the newest forms of treatment that target the androgen receptor, which regulates testosterone," Reiter said.

- read about the research in MedWire News