Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Scientists have developed a promising treatment for prostate cancer by starving tumours of their blood supply.

Very hopeful article submitted by my daughter Sasha today...

British researchers say the new approach could be tested in patients within two years, potentially giving them the ability to stop cancers growing and spreading.

The scientists made the breakthrough after discovered a molecule which plays a key role in aggressive prostate cancer.
Crucially, the academics from Bristol and Nottingham universities have already worked out how to neutralise the dangerous molecule.
The new approach could be tested in patients within two years, potentially giving them the ability to stop cancers growing and spreading. The prostate is pictured in orange, containing a small tumour 
The new approach could be tested in patients within two years, potentially giving them the ability to stop cancers growing and spreading. The prostate is pictured in orange, containing a small tumour 
The treatment, delivered by an injection, has already been shown to halt the growth of prostate tumours in mice.
And scientists are confident the procedure can be replicated in humans, with a British firm investigating how to turn it into a clinical treatment.
The findings, published yesterday in the Oncogene medical journal, rests on the investigation of a molecule called SRPK1.
The scientists found that the molecule enables the tumour to form new blood vessels.
Tumours need a supply of nutrient-enriched blood to survive, grow and spread.
Stopping the production of new blood vessels prevents cancer cells from multiplying, they found. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, accounting for a quarter of all male cancers.
Twenty per cent of patients die within five years of receiving a prostate cancer diagnosis, with few treatments available to doctors.
Shrinking tumours by cutting off blood supply is an approach that has already been shown to work in colorectal cancer - but until now scientists had struggled to find a way to do the same thing in prostate tumour.
The study leaders are now investigating whether the same molecular target will work in other tumours - with potential that the drug could be used to treat a range of diseases.

PROSTATE CARE IS FAILING HALF OF NHS PATIENTS, REPORT CLAIMS

The NHS is still failing to deliver the best diagnosis and treatment to thousands of men with prostate cancer, says the first national audit of services.
It shows a ‘worryingly vast variation’ in access to advanced MRI scanning and the latest radiotherapy techniques.
Half of all men with the disease do not receive all the support services they should in hospitals, the National Prostate Cancer Audit found.
Four out of five radiation centres in England do not offer brachytherapy – which uses radioactive seeds planted inside the prostate and can help half of men retain their sex lives.
The service is not provided at a single centre in Labour-run Wales.
Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men. 
In the UK, more than 41,000 are diagnosed each year leading to around 10,000 deaths annually. 
Survival rates in the UK are below the European average and research into the disease lags a decade behind that for other cancers, say critics. 
The scientists made the discovery by analysing samples of human prostate cancer, observing that SRPK1 increases as the cancer got more aggressive.
In experiments on mice, they found that injecting an inhibitor drug called Sphinx three times a week, stopped the molecule from working and the tumour growth halted.
Study author Dr Sebastian Oltean, of Bristol University, said: ‘We reasoned that inhibition of SRPK1 activity could stop cancer progression.
‘Indeed, we show in this paper that if we decrease SRPK1 levels in prostate cancer cells, or in tumours grafted into mice, we are able to inhibit tumour vasculature and growth.’
He said: ‘This is a completely new area and could form a completely new class of drugs. Tumours all need blood to survive and grow, to differing degrees depending on the type.
‘If this is show to work in clinical trials it could be used to inhibit all kinds of cancers.’
Biotech company Exonate, a spin-out drug development firm from the University of Nottingham, is looking at developing SRPK1 inhibitors as treatments for other diseases with abnormal vessel development.
They think sight problems where blood vessel development is key - such as age-related macular de-generation - could also benefit from the same approach.
Study co-author Professor David Bates, from Nottingham, said: ‘Our results point to a novel way of treating prostate cancer patients and may have wider implications to be used in several types of cancers.’
Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, which helped fund the study, said: ‘There’s no denying that there are too few treatment options for the 40,000 men that face a diagnosis of prostate cancer every year in the UK – especially for those with advanced disease.
‘Prostate cancer continues to kill over 10,000 men annually and there is an urgent need for new treatments if we are to significantly reduce this figure.
The treatment, delivered by an injection, has already been shown to halt the growth of prostate tumours in mice
The treatment, delivered by an injection, has already been shown to halt the growth of prostate tumours in mice.
‘Although it’s early days, each finding like this represents a crucial block in building up our understanding of what can slow down and stop the progression of prostate cancer. This understanding will give us the foundations needed to develop new targeted treatments for those men in desperate need.’
The lack of treatments for men with prostate cancer is exacerbated by the fact the NHS is not using all those available to them, a report on cancer services revealed yesterday.
The National Prostate Cancer Audit showed a ‘worryingly vast variation’ in access to advanced MRI scanning and the latest radiotherapy techniques.
Half of all men with the disease do not receive all the support services they should in NHS hospitals,
And four out of five radiation centres in England do not offer brachytherapy – which uses radioactive seeds planted inside the prostate and can help half of men retain their sex lives after treatment.
Survival rates in the UK are below the European average and research into the disease lags a decade behind that for other cancers, say critics.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2828668/Prostate-cancer-breakthrough-scientists-discover-STARVE-tumours-blood-supply.html#ixzz3IlLvon6d
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