A gene discovered by researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center may provide a target on prostate cancer cells for antibodies to attack, allowing the antibodies to destroy those cells while ignoring all others.
A gene discovered by researchers at UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center may provide a target on prostate cancer cells for antibodies to attack, allowing the antibodies to destroy those cells while ignoring all others.
A paper in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes the gene and its potential value.
First author of the paper--Dr. Robert Reiter of UCLAs Jonsson Cancer Center and an assistant professor in the Department of Urology at UCLAs School of Medicine--observes that identification of genes such as the one he discovered "is critical to the development" of new diagnostic and therapeutic methods for combating prostate cancer.
New Gene Has Interesting Features
"The importance of this gene is that it links the development of a special set of cells in the prostate to the creation of prostate cancer," said Dr. Owen Witte, co-author of the paper, professor of microbiology in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at UCLA, and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
The prostate stem-cell antigen gene (PSCA), and the protein it expresses, have many interesting features:
"We think that PSCA provides the target Ive described, and it may also be a good marker for the presence of prostate cancer. Were very excited about our discovery," Reiter said.
In collaboration with pathologist Max Loda of Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Reiter has found that more than 80% of prostate cancers produce high levels of PSCA.