Scientists have identified how a specific substance plays a key role in helping prostate cancer to spread and become harder to treat.
They hope the findings might offer new treatment options for aggressive prostate cancer.
A team at Nottingham Trent University found that ‘transglutaminase 2’ (TG2), which is abundant in many of the body’s cells, is responsible for driving a process which leads to the progression and spreading of the disease.
In the UK, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men – with more than 52,000 diagnosed every year.
Early prostate cancer cells require the male hormone androgen to grow.
However they can become androgen-independent and therefore harder to treat with current therapies, as they advance.
Researchers suggest that until now it has not been clear how that process occurs.
‘This finding has opened a significant pathway for understanding other key mechanisms prostate cancer cells utilise to evade key regulatory pathways,’ Dr Adeola Atobatele, a scientist on the study.