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Research Corner - July 2014

Research results from PCC-funded researchers

Vincent Fradet: Chronic inflammation is believed to be a major factor in prostate cancer. Vincent Fradet and team have recently published findings in Research Reports in Urology showing that when there is inflammation, normal non-cancerous prostate cells produce the protein IL-8, which attracts even more inflammatory cells. IL-8 is also strongly associated with cancer aggressiveness and may drive prostate cancer development. Further studies may determine whether this protein could be a target used to prevent aggressive prostate cancer.
An additional study by Vincent Fradet looked at the link between omega-3s and prostate cancer. Omega-3s, which are fatty acids, reduce inflammation in the body and could lower the risk of cancer. Omega-3 levels are often measured in the blood or by food intake, but Fradet and team studied fatty acid levels in the prostate to measure prostate cancer risk. Recently published in Cancer Prevention Research, their results show that higher levels of fatty acids in prostate cancer tissue are linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. This may indicate that prostate tissue omega-3 fatty acids could be protective against cancer progression in men with low-risk prostate cancer.

Fraser Hof: PCC-funded researcher Fraser Hof’s lab is interested in how gene modifications are related to aggressive cancers. His team is studying proteins that can “read”, “write” and “erase” modifications, and have recently identified a small molecule that can interrupt one such interaction that is involved in cell growth and spread, which is often characteristic of cancer. This study was published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and the therapeutic potential for this type of intervention will follow.

Alex Zlotta: Last year, Dr. Alexandre Zlotta’s lab published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that over 60% of men in their 80’s have prostate cancer, whether or not diagnosed (these results were the result of a grant funded by the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation, as PCC was formerly known). As a follow up, this year the group has focused on benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is when the prostate is larger than usual but not as a result of cancer, although some of the urinary symptoms are the same. Dr. Zlotta and team found that over 70% of men experienced chronic inflammation of the prostate, with more inflammation associated with more BPH, providing additional evidence about the association between chronic inflammation and BPH.

Posted: 2014-07-25 4:16:11 PM
Filed under: Research


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