Posted December 15, 2013 by admin in Trends

Protein may aid cancer treatment

Scientists in the UK have uncovered a protein which could trigger the body’s own immune system in fighting prostate cancer tumours – raising hopes of a new vaccine to help combat the deadly disease.

Researchers at Nottingham Trent University have identified characteristics in a protein which may not only be able to stimulate the body’s own defences to attack tumour cells, but which could also help protect from established prostate tumours – bringing new hope to those with an advanced form of the disease.

Their study has focused on the protein called prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), which occurs in 90% of prostate tumours, and specifically dealt with using a part of PAP, called PAP 114.

From their research, scientists have developed a new prostate cancer vaccination strategy – which would be delivered to a patient through a series of injections – which appears to act against tumour growth, in pre-clinical testing carried out in laboratory conditions.

The scientists, based at the university’s John van Geest Cancer Research Centre, now believe their findings could lead to the development of new cost-effective vaccines which will stimulate a faster-acting and longer-lasting immune system response in those people suffering with the potentially lethal tumours.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of the disease in UK men, killing more than 10,000 every year.

About 40,000 British men are diagnosed with with prostate cancer annually, with cases rising in men over 50, although the average age for diagnosis is in those aged between 70 and 74.