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Cancer gene may help men

Thursday July 23rd, 2015

Prostate cancer may be held back by a gene which causes the growth of other kinds of cancer, researchers warned yesterday.

And modern treatments for rheumatoid arthritis may also aggravate risk for these patients by suppressing beneficial chemicals, Austrian researchers warned.

Their study finds that Stat3 gene and the cytokine interleukin-6 - IL-6 - play a joint role in suppressing cell growth in patients with prostate cancer.

The findings have come from a study of laboratory mice reported in Nature Communications.

The researchers say their work suggests IL-6 and Stat3 could be used as markers for the disease. Low levels would suggest high risk of aggressive disease.

IL-6 blockers are currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases.

Researcher Jan Pencik, of the Medical University of Vienna, said: “Using knockout mice, which are preclinical model organisms, we can link IL-6/Stat3 signalling to ARF, an important gene for cell cycle control and decisions to grow or to arrest.

"These findings have consequences for prostate cancer metastasis.”

Cancer Driver Gene reduces metastasis in prostate cancer. Nature Communications 22 July 2015; doi: 10.1038/ncomms8736

Tags: Cancer | Europe | Genetics | Men's Health

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