Nav: Home

PSA, a prostate cancer marker, activates vascular and lymphangiogenic growth factors

May 24, 2019

Together with its partners, a research group led by Docent Michael Jeltsch at the University of Helsinki, Finland, has discovered new mechanisms which activate the vascular endothelial and lymphangiogenic growth factors VEGF-C and VEGF-D. These growth factors play a central role not only in fetal development but in the spread of cancer and the formation of metastases.

Most fatalities caused by cancers that produce tumours - among others, prostate cancer - are specifically the result of metastases. Understanding the chain of events leading to the development of metastases, as well as the related key factors, is necessary for finding means to inhibit or halt the process.

The researchers discovered two new proteolytic enzymes (proteases) which are able to activate both growth factors, VEGF-C and VEGF-D. One of the enzymes is the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is also used as a marker for prostate cancer. In addition to the prostate, VEGF-C and PSA occur in semen, where they may have a reproductive impact, particularly on fertility.

The researchers also found that the cathepsin D protease is able to activate VEGF-C and VEGF-D. It was already previously known that cathepsin D is related to the formation of metastases, but detailed information on the mechanism of action has been lacking.

"These new findings provide a great deal of new information on the functioning of lymphangiogenic and vascular endothelial growth factors in general and specifically on their role in prostate cancer and reproductive biology," Jeltsch notes.

"In the future, our discoveries may help in both developing novel cancer drugs as well as identifying and treating mechanisms related to infertility."
-end-


University of Helsinki

Related Prostate Cancer Articles:

First prostate cancer therapy to target genes delays cancer progression
For the first time, prostate cancer has been treated based on the genetic makeup of the cancer, resulting in delayed disease progression, delayed time to pain progression, and potentially extending lives in patients with advanced, metastatic prostate cancer, reports a large phase 3 trial.
Men taking medications for enlarged prostate face delays in prostate cancer diagnosis
University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report that men treated with medications for benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) experienced a two-year delay in diagnosis of their prostate cancer and were twice as likely to have advanced disease upon diagnosis.
CNIO researchers confirm links between aggressive prostate cancer and hereditary breast cancer
The study has potential implications for families with members suffering from these types of tumours who are at an increased risk of developing cancer.
Distinguishing fatal prostate cancer from 'manageable' cancer now possible
Scientists at the University of York have found a way of distinguishing between fatal prostate cancer and manageable cancer, which could reduce unnecessary surgeries and radiotherapy.
Researchers find prostate cancer drug byproduct can fuel cancer cells
A genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease, according to new research at Cleveland Clinic.
ASCO and Cancer Care Ontario update guideline on radiation therapy for prostate cancer
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Cancer Care Ontario today issued a joint clinical practice guideline update on brachytherapy (internal radiation) for patients with prostate cancer.
Patient prostate tissue used to create unique model of prostate cancer biology
For the first time, researchers have been able to grow, in a lab, both normal and primary cancerous prostate cells from a patient, and then implant a million of the cancer cells into a mouse to track how the tumor progresses.
Moffitt Cancer Center awarded $3.2 million grant to study bone metastasis in prostate cancer
Moffitt researchers David Basanta, Ph.D., and Conor Lynch, Ph.D., have been awarded a U01 grant to investigate prostate cancer metastasis.
Prostate cancer discovery may make it easier to kill cancer cells
A newly discovered connection between two common prostate cancer treatments may soon make prostate cancer cells easier to destroy.
New test for prostate cancer significantly improves prostate cancer screening
A study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that a new test for prostate cancer is better at detecting aggressive cancer than PSA.
More Prostate Cancer News and Prostate Cancer Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.