Now the scientists are planning a clinical trial in men with prostate cancer to see if the obesity drug may be an effective treatment for this cancer. Thats really important, Dr. Abate-Shen said. Aggressive prostate cancer is lethal, and there are no curative drugs right now.
The American Cancer Society estimates that prostate cancer will be diagnosed in about 165,000 American men this year, making it the second most common cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer.
The tumors often remain in the prostate and do not kill, but when the cancer spreads, it is lethal. About 29,500 men die of prostate cancer each year. Researchers have been struggling to find new ways to help men with metastatic cancer.
Geneticists knew prostate cancers often start when a protective gene, PTEN, shuts down. But the tumors in men that lose only PTEN tend to languish, rarely spreading beyond the prostate and rarely becoming lethal.
The cancers change, though, if a second gene, called PML, also shuts down. Suddenly, indolent cells become cancers that spread and kill. But why?
In the ...