A new weapon against prostate cancer
Oncology is one of the most important fields of medicine, since it deals with the leading cause of death on a global scale, cancer. It is common knowledge that there are many different types of cancer. However, the different mortality rates and treatment difficulties make some tougher to deal with than others. One of these types is prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is, in fact, the second most lethal type in the US. But finally, after many years of studies and medical trials, scientists have some really amazing news.
A groundbreaking discovery made by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine is very promising. They have managed to trace a connection between the two most common treatments of prostate cancer, androgen ablation and, of course, radiation.
According to the team, the spot that is targeted by the radiation needed to activate it and stop the cellular division is the one that also regulates the extent to which the cells of the prostate react to the presence of androgen, a hormone essential for the growth of cancer cells.
In other words, by using only one of the aforementioned treatments, the patient gets both of the benefits at the same time. Not only does the number of cancer cells in the prostate stop increasing, but the existing ones cease to grow and become more vulnerable to destruction by radiation.
The forenamed spot is a pathway located in the prostate. It is where the vital Checkpoint kinase 2 (CHEK 2) genes are located. CHECK 2 have the ability to suppress tumors and also perform extensive DNA repairs which are very important, especially after a radiation dosage. Many scientists claim that mutations occurring in these genes are the reason behind the appearance of prostate cancer.
A great number of pharmaceutical companies have already started manufacturing new products based on this discovery, in an effort to create more efficient drugs in the battle against prostate cancer. These companies estimate that human trials of the drugs are three to five years away but no one can say for sure yet.
The verification of this discovery and its implementation to the standard treatment method would be a huge leap towards the definite victory of medicine over prostate cancer, one that would give hope and bring a smile to the face of patients all around the world. Once again, science improves the quality of our lives, by tackling a health issue that could target anyone at any given time.