Roswell Park team makes progress on treatment for prostate cancer

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A team at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Institute is making progress in the fight against prostate cancer.

The team successfully identified a new tumor suppressor protein in prostate cancer — the second-leading cause of male cancer deaths.

Dr. Dean Tang, professor and chair of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at Roswell Park, is the senior author of the study, which was published in Nature Communications. It’s the first to report that the molecule LRIG1 suppresses prostate cancer development.

“The good news for prostate cancer patients is that LRIG1 also possesses therapeutic efficacy and is actually up-regulated in tumors, in response to several oncogenic signals,” Dr. Tang says. “This new research represents a comprehensive exploration of LRIG1 expression, functions and mechanisms in prostate cancer, and advocates a novel conceptual paradigm that LRIG1 represents a pleiotropic-feedback tumor suppressor induced by multiple oncogenic signaling pathways.”

It’s not yet available, but the LRIG1-derived peptide is now being developed as an anti-cancer therapeutic.

Roswell Park says it could be effective in treating patients with inoperable prostate cancer.

“Interestingly, the LRIG1 gene is induced in developing tumors, presumably representing the patient’s defense mechanism against tumor growth,” Dr. Tang says. “The LRIG1 expression levels in patients’ tumors could potentially be developed into a prognostic biomarker — the higher the expression level, the better prognosis for prostate cancer patients.”

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