Protein is necessary for cell maintenance according to Clinical Cancer Research paper.

Researchers at Jefferson’s Kimmel Cancer Center found that they can kill prostate cancer cells by blocking a signaling protein, Stat5. They suggest that the protein is vital to prostate cancer cell maintenance.

Previously, the researchers found that this protein is active in 75% of prostate cancer recurrence cases and in 95% of  hormone resistant recurrent tumors.

The scientists wanted to prove that Stat5 was indeed necessary for prostate cancer cells to be viable. They inserted human prostate cancer tissue specimens into cell tissue cultures. The team then blocked the protein’s expression and function in several ways including siRNA inhibition, antisense inhibition, and adenoviral gene delivery of an inhibitory form of Stat5.

All these techniques killed the prostate cancer cells in the culture. The scientists also found that when they transplanted cancerous tissue into mice and blocked Stat5 expression, prostate tumors failed to grow.

The study will be reported in the March 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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