Friday’s news reports: March 27, 2009

The reports addressed today offer information from three very technical studies dealing with:

  • Genomic profiling of localized prostate cancers among African American men
  • “DNA licensing” and prostate cancer progression
  • Interleukin-6 over-expression and bicalutamide resistance

To better understand the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer in African American men, Castro et al. have conducted a genetic profiling study in which they analyzed prostate cancers from 20 African Americans using high-density, single-nucleotide polymorphism arrays to detect genomic copy number alterations. They were able to show that clinically localized cancers from African Americans more closely resembled metastatic prostate cancers from white men. They suggest that this difference may — at least in part — explain the well known aggressive clinical behavior of prostate cancer in African American males.

D’Antonio et al. have described how a molecular sub-process known as “DNA licensing,” which occurs during cell replication and growth, may critically impact androgen receptor expression and function, offering yet another potential target for the development of drugs that could impact the progression of prostate cancer.

It is already known that interleukin-6 (IL-6) has an important role in the development and progression of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Feng et al. have reported that over-expression of interleukin-6 also appears to have impact on the development of resistance to treatment with bicalutamide (Casodex). They suggest that it may be possible to use some form of adjunctive therapy to prevent the development of such resistance.

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