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Prostate Cancer

An exciting new development in the treatment of prostate cancer has been hailed by scientists as a possible revolution in the way the disease is treated.

Experiments have targeted the activity of ‘fibroblast’ cells and successfully changed the way they behave.  Trials on mice have seen a reduction on the growth of prostate cancer.

Dr Axel Thomson, lead researcher at the Medical Research Council in Edinburgh, said: “This is an extremely exciting development that has the potential to form the basis of a revolution in prostate cancer treatments over time if replicated in humans.  By targeting the fibroblasts that control the growth of cancer these new treatments could be both more effective and likely to lead to significantly fewer side effects”.

Fibroblast cells are found next to cancer cells and although not cancerous, they encourage cancer to grow.  By turning on key genes inside fibroblast cells, dramatic reduction has been seen in prostate cancer tumours in mice.  Mr Thomson added: “It will take 10 years and more to bring this approach to the bedside but we believe it is an entirely new way of targeting tumour growth”.

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