Hormone therapy successfully controls metastatic prostate cancer, but over time, tumor cells become resistant to it. Now scientists have understood why this is happening.
An international research group led by scientists from the Netherlands Cancer Institute and the Institute Oncod studied the tissues of prostate cancer patients who were treated with testosterone-inhibiting drugs. Biologists have discovered that an unexpected class of proteins, namely proteins that normally regulate the circadian clock, weaken the effects of antihormonal therapy.
“Prostate cancer cells no longer have a circadian rhythm after treatment,” explains Wilbert Zwart, one of the research leaders. — But these “circadian clock” proteins have a completely new function after hormone therapy: they keep these cancer cells alive despite treatment. We haven’t seen this before.”
The study was conducted on the tissue of patients with high-risk prostate cancer who received antihormonal therapy for three months before surgery. After taking the drugs, their tissues were examined at the DNA level.
Now that scientists have discovered such processes inside tumors, experts are planning to develop new strategies to block this process. Ultimately, this will significantly increase the effectiveness of antihormonal therapy for prostate cancer.
Hormone therapy successfully controls metastatic prostate cancer, but over time, tumor cells become resistant to it. Now scientists have understood why this is happening. It is also a particularly aggressive type of cancer. It progresses rapidly and causes widespread metastasis.