Scientists identify prostate cancer 'growth' gene

Scientists have identified a gene that could be instrumental in the growth of prostate tumours.

The discovery could lead to improved cancer diagnosis and treatment, according to researchers from the University of Edinburgh.

They looked at genes which control how the prostate gland is formed and found that one gene, called decorin, may have a key role in tumour growth.

We pinpointed which genes were active in embryonic prostate development and compared their behaviour in the development of prostate cancer.

Through this process we were excited to discover that the presence of one gene, decorin, was reduced in tumours compared to normal prostate cells.

This observation suggests that decorin's normal role may be to slow cancer growth, which is a really exciting possibility.

– Lead researcher Dr Axel Thomson, from the university's Medical Research Centre for Reproductive Health