A PUBLICATION OF THE PATRICK C. WALSH PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH FUND

  The Patrick C. Walsh Prostate Cancer Research Fund   

 New Drug Causes Cancer Cells to Commit Suicide; Early Results Promising 

The exciting discovery (see story) by William Isaacs, Ph.D., and colleagues of a major susceptibility gene for prostate cancer, HOXB13, was Step One. Step Two: A mouse model. "Mouse models have proved invaluable in their ability to provide unprecedented insight into the mechanics of human cancer genes," says Isaacs. "We hypothesize that when a mutated version of HOXB13 is expressed in the mouse prostate, either by itself or in conjunction with an established prostate oncogene, it will promote or accelerate the development of prostate cancer in mice. 

HOXB13 clearly plays a role in starting the genetic chain of events that leads to prostate cancer. How does it work? Which pathways does it use? Can this process somehow be blocked or reversed? Understanding the "how" can lead, Isaacs hopes, to "important downstream implications for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of prostate cancer."

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