A Potentially Life-Saving Molecule
Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center may have discovered a way to potentially shut down the growth of prostate cancer cells.
Dr. Ralf Kittler, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, studies ERG, a protein that facilitates the transformation of normal prostate cells into cancer cells. He and fellow investigators found that a molecule called WP1130 can ultimately lead to the destruction of ERG.
“We now have a target that we could potentially exploit to develop a drug for treatment,” Kittler said in a statement.
The findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The research team tested the molecule successfully in mice, but the process needs to be improved to work in humans. Research still needs to be done on toxicity and side effects. “It’s a good start, and now we are in a position to develop the finding further in an effort to move into the clinic,” Kittler said.
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men and the second most common cause of male cancer death in the United States. The disease caused nearly 30,000 deaths in 2013, according to the American Cancer Society.