This study shows the cause of spread of prostate cancer

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In a recent study from MedUni Vienna, scientists discovered specific changes in a protein that drives the growth and spread of prostate cancer.

Prostate cancers remain localized in the majority of cases, giving affected individuals a good chance of survival.

However, about 20% of patients develop incurable metastatic prostate cancer.

Medical research has not yet adequately explained why metastases occur in some people and not in others.

In the study, researchers broke new ground and tested the role of the protein KMT2C in prostate cancer.

KMT2C is a genetic component that essentially functions as a regulator of central cellular processes.

If KMT2C loses this regulatory ability due to typical cancer-related mutations, this encourages the proliferation of the cancer gene MYC.

It can cause cells to divide at an increased rate, driving both growths and spread of cancer.

KMT2C mutation status can be measured via a blood test, allowing early diagnosis of potentially aggressive progression in prostate cancers.

MYC inhibitors are essentially new cancer treatment drugs that have already been tested in clinical trials and—if further studies confirm this—could also be used in metastatic prostate cancer in the next few years.

The team says this study provides new insights into the previously poorly understood transition from localized prostate cancer to terminal metastatic prostate cancer.

In addition, the knowledge gained about the effects of KMT2C mutations may also generate new momentum for the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer.

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The research is published in Molecular Cancer and was conducted by Lukas Kenner et al.

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