Cancer uses different mechanisms to grow, spread and become resistant to treatment, one of which is shutting down molecules within the cell that suppress cancer.
"Our DNA contains genes coding for proteins that suppress cancer or tumor formation in various organs," said S. Adam Ramin, M.D., a urologic surgeon and the medical director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles. "These genes are called tumor suppressor genes. When tumor suppressors are turned off, there is a higher likelihood of tumor formation and progression of cancer to higher stages. Many cancers, including bladder and prostate, progress because of the loss of the tumor suppressor genes."
Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis identified both a novel RNA molecule—tagged NXTAR—that suppresses prostate cancer and a way to restore it. (RNA stands for ribonucleic acid.) They conducted experiments in prostate cancer cells and in mice implanted with human prostate cancer grafts. Their findings were published in the