A new way to lower risk of prostate cancer spread

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study from Cedars-Sinai Cancer, researchers found a new way to reduce the risk of prostate cancer spread.

They found that targeting a specific protein that is often overexpressed in prostate cancer can help prevent or delay the disease from spreading to other parts of the body.

The research opens the possibility of using available commercial drugs, including one approved by the Food and Drug Administration for leukemia, to shut down a protein known as receptor-interacting protein kinase 2—or RIPK2.

If confirmed in human clinical trials, the finding could have a major impact on the treatment of men with advanced prostate cancer.

About 90% of cancer deaths are caused by the recurrence of metastatic cancer, which occurs when cancer spreads to other organs.

In the study, the team examined the molecular profiles of cancer tissue in men with advanced prostate cancer.

They discovered that RIPK2 was amplified in about 65% of lethal prostate cancers, which kill approximately 34,000 U.S. men each year.

While this protein has been studied in inflammatory disorders, little is known about its molecular functions in the context of cancer progression and metastasis.

Once the protein was identified, the team conducted a large-scale analysis to help decode how RIPK2 might alter the activity of other functions in the cell.

They found that RIPK2 activates another protein, which in turn triggers a crucial driver named c-Myc that fuels the progression and metastasis of many cancer types, including prostate cancer.

In a series of experiments in mice, the team found that inhibiting the RIPK2 function with both small molecular inhibitors (drugs) and a gene-editing system—known as CRISPR/Cas9—substantially reduced the spread of prostate cancer.

They found that targeting RIPK2 with ponatinib, an existing FDA-approved protein inhibitor, reduced prostate cancer metastasis by 92% in mice.

The team says if they can translate this to human patients, they may extend patients’ lives by several years, instead of just several months.

The next step is to identify biomarkers that can help guide investigators and clinicians to select the group of patients that would benefit most from this treatment.

If you care about cancer, please read studies about vitamin that is particularly important for your cancer prevention, and three-drug combo boosts survival in metastatic prostate cancer

For more information about cancer and your health, please see recent studies that this herb may help treat pancreatic cancer, and results showing scientists develop new drug for treating aggressive prostate cancer.

The study is published in Nature Communications and was conducted by Wei Yang et al.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.