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27 December 2010

Compound That Prevents the Growth of Prostate Cancer Cells Identified

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Researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku have demonstrated that an antibiotic called "monensin" prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells

Monensin is used in the meat and dairy industry, for example.

Evidence pointing to the effects of monensin emerged in a project investigating the effects of nearly 5,000 drugs and micromolecules on the growth of prostate cancer cells. The project involved most of the drugs on the market today. Researchers found that small amounts of compounds -- disulfiram (Antabus), thiram, tricostatin A, and monensin -- can prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells without significant effects on the growth of the normal human prostate epithelial cells.

Further studies revealed that monensin caused prostate cancer cell death by reducing the amount of testosterone receptor and by increasing production of reactive oxygen species and inducing DNA damage. In addition, monensin was shown to have combined effects with anti-androgens -- the drugs suppressing the effects of androgens -- in preventing prostate cancer cell growth.


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