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NCI Cancer Center News

How non-coding RNAs fuel prostate cancer growth

  • Posted: August 15, 2013

A team of researchers from UC Davis (home of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center), UC San Diego (home of the Moores Comprehensive Cancer Center), and other institutions has identified a key mechanism behind aggressive prostate cancer. Published on August 14, 2013 in Nature, the study shows that two long non-coding RNAs (PRNCR1 and PCGEM1) activate androgen receptors, circumventing androgen-deprivation therapy. In their active state, these receptors turn on genes that spur growth and metastasis, making these cancers highly treatment-resistant. The study illustrates how prostate cancer can thrive, even when deprived of hormones, and provides tempting targets for new therapies.

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NCI comprehensive cancer centers logoAmong the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 67 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.