Gene Found Activated In Most Prostate Cancer Cases

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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A gene has been found activated in 70% of prostate cancer tumors, the same gene that has been discovered activated in a majority of breast cancer cases, report scientists at the George Washington University Medical Center led by Dr. Patricia Berg, who discovered and cloned the gene, and Dr. Arnold Schwartz. Berg is Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and directs a laboratory at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, DC, and Schwartz is Professor of Pathology and practicing clinician at GWUMC.

In the January, 2009 print issue of Modern Pathology, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group, the team of researchers led by Berg and Schwartz will report that "Significant BP1 immunoreactivity was identified in approximately 70% of prostatic adenocarcinomas, whether the analysis was performed on tissue sections (50 cases) or tissue microarray platforms (123 cases)." The findings compare to "less than 5%" BP1 activity in normal cells. The researchers conclude that "These findings suggest that BP1 is an important upstream factor in the carcinogenic pathway of prostate cancer and that the expression of BP1 may reflect or directly contribute to tumor progression and/or invasion."

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In addition to Berg and Schwartz, the team of authors includes Drs. Yan-Gao Man, Department of Gynecologic and Breast Pathology, The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington DC; M Katayoon Rezaei, Department of Pathology, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington DC; and Samuel J Simmens, Department of Biostatistics, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington DC.

Berg had previously published and reported, and the authors cite in the current article, that BP1 is activated in a majority of breast cancer (80%) and acute myeloid leukemia (63%) cases. The authors say, "Our current and past findings suggest that BP1 may be an important regulatory factor in the oncogenic pathway of several malignancies including prostate cancer." Berg stated today, "BP1 is a new, potentially significant target for therapy. It could be an important new diagnostic marker for prostate cancer and the other cancers in which it is expressed."

Prostate cancer is the leading cancer among men. The National Cancer Institute estimates 186,320 new cases and 28,660 deaths from prostate cancer in the U.S. in 2008.

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