MicroRNA 125b, a Molecule and new Target for Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer Identified

July 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

Castration resistant prostate cancer is that which no longer responds to hormonal treatment. This is more so when the hormonal treatment is administered as a first line of treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

A new molecule referred to as the microRNA 125b has been identified as targeting or blocking NCOR2 known to tamp down the androgen receptor that drives cancer of the prostate.

It has been discovered that this discovery may lead to the development better or more effective treatments for castration resistant prostate cancer. Here are more details on this new discovery from researchers of the University of Colorado, Denver and the University of Minnesota:

 A great deal of cancer medicine has to do with targeting and then blocking the activities of molecules that are creating chaos – and cancer – in the body.

A new target for resistant prostate cancer has been identified.

Scientists have learned that going after a molecule which plays a role in many cancers – microRNA-125b – may jumpstart treatment of prostate cancers that are no longer respond to hormonal therapy (castrate-resistant).

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Denver and the University of Minnesota were trying to define the role of microRNA-125b at the time of this discovery.

They found that this molecule blocks NCOR2, a gene that works to tamp down the androgen receptor that drives prostate cancer.

The study authors explained that “the androgen receptor is a critical therapeutic target in prostate cancer.” Why? Because when the androgen receptors get altered, the result is a prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone-blocking drugs.

This study was published in the July edition of BioResearch Open Access.

This work was supported by a Paul Calabresi K12 clinical scholar grant awarded to the University of Colorado Denver and the Herbert Crane Endowment.

The authors declare that no competing financial interests exist.

Prostate Cancer


Each year in the United States, over 200,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Unfortunately, 32,000 of them will succumb to the disease, making it the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. However, due to improved detection and treatment, there are over 2 million men in the United States who are currently prostate cancer survivors.

The prostate is a small, walnut sized organ in men that sits below the bladder and is responsible for making seminal fluid, which is necessary for ejaculation and fertility. Symptoms of prostate cancer closely resemble those of benign prostatic hypertrophy, with delayed or slowed initiation of urination, dribbling and leaking of urine, a slow urinary stream, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. Blood may be present in the urine or semen as well. Pain in the bones of the lower back and pelvis may be a sign that prostate cancer has spread. Source.

This new research can help in developing a new treatment for cancer of the prostate. This is more likely to happen with castration resistant prostate cancer.

Further studies should be done on the molecule — microRNA 125b so as to have more comprehensive details on its effect on cancer in the prostate. It is more likely that more research efforts would be applied in this direction.

Cancer of the prostate affects many men today and it has been estimated that 1 out of every 6 American men are likely to be diagnosed of this disease. So, the above research is a welcomed one.

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