A novel target to treat prostate cancer identified 

  • IASbaba
  • November 1, 2021
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A novel target to treat prostate cancer identified 

Part of: Prelims and GS-II – Health and GS-III – Sci and tech 

Context Researchers at the IIT, Kanpur, have discovered that a particular gene (DLX1) has an important role to play in the growth and development of prostate cancer.

  • DLX1 plays an important role in the development of jaws, skeleton, and interneurons in the brain.
  • It is also expressed at higher levels in the prostate cancer cells

Key findings  

  • The team of researchers at the institute has now found that the DLX1 protein has a huge role in the growth and development of the tumour and the spread of the cancer to other organs in the body (metastasis).
  • Using small molecules as inhibitors, the researchers have shown in mice a new therapeutic strategy to treat people with DLX1-positive prostate cancer.

What is Prostate cancer?

  • Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate. 
  • The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system that surrounds the urethra just below the bladder. 
  • Most prostate cancers are slow growing.
  • Factors that increase the risk of prostate cancer include older age, family history and race.
  • The DLX1 protein is found at elevated levels in prostate cancer patients, the reason why the DLX1 protein has been used as a urine-based biomarker. 

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