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
- 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.