Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cell of origin for human prostate cancer

Scientists at UCLA find cell of origin for human prostate cancer by Kim Irwin, UCLA Newsroom, July 29, 2010. Excerpts:
"Certainly, the dominant thought is that human prostate cancer arose from the luminal cells because the cancers had more features resembling luminal cells," said Witte, senior author of the study and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. "But we were able to start with a basal cell and induce human prostate cancer, and now, as we go forward, this gives us a place to look in understanding the sequence of genetic events that initiates prostate cancer and defining the cell-signaling pathways that may be at work fueling the malignancy, helping us to potentially uncover new targets for therapy."
The new human-in-mouse model system developed in the study was created by taking healthy human prostate tissue that will induce cancer once it is placed in mice, instead of taking malignant tissue that is already cancerous and implanting it. This model can now be used to evaluate the effectiveness of new types of therapeutics. By using defined genetic events to activate specific signaling pathways, researchers can more easily compare therapeutic efficacy. The new model, by deconstructing tissue and then reconstructing it, also will aid in analyzing how the cells change during cancer progression.
This news release is based on the publication: Identification of a Cell of Origin for Human Prostate Cancer by Andrew S Goldstein and 5 co-authors, including Owen N Witte, Science 2010(Jul 30); 329(5991): 568-71. [PubMed citation][FriendFeed entry][Twitter trackbacks via Topsy].


  1. See also a video (26 min 30 sec), available via: Lecture: Owen Witte – Prostate tissue stem cells and cancer progression, posted by Alexey Bersenev, Stem Cell Assays, August 15, 2010.

  2. A commentary: Tumorigenesis: Ground zero by Teresa Villanueva, Nature Reviews Cancer 2010(Sep); 10(9):, 598-9. [Full text].