BUFFALO -- Roswell Park Cancer Institute researchers have identified a gene that influences metastasis in prostate cancer, and may help clinicians to identify aggressive prostate tumors before they progress and spread to other organs. They are presenting results of this research today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2017, which continues through Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Capitalizing on overlapping results from two different genetic screens, the team determined that loss of a particular gene, GPRC6A, caused prostate cancer cells to become more invasive and metastatic. The researchers also identified specific microRNAs, or non-coding RNA molecules, that normally function to turn off production of GPRC6A. The researchers are continuing their investigation with the goal of determining whether GPRC6A and associated microRNAs can be used to predict cancer aggressiveness, thereby identifying aggressive disease early and finding targeted treatments for this potentially deadly prostate cancer.
"This research offers a new understanding into the mechanisms that promote early prostate cancer progression from a relatively nonthreatening tumor to more aggressive and deadly metastatic growths," says Dr. Gelman. "This study may help us to identify new treatment options that can improve survival from metastatic prostate cancer."
More than 25 teams from Roswell Park Cancer Institute have been invited to present their research at the 2017 AACR annual meeting. The research studies cover the gamut from novel insights into a potential biomarker for glioma and an epigenetic approach to understanding androgen deprivation therapy to a microRNA signature scoring system that may predict bone metastasis in breast cancer.