Researchers identify molecule that could take part in formation of bone metastasis in prostate cancer


From left to right, the experts Ruth Rodríguez-Barrueco and Mireia Olivan, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and IDIBELL.

From left to right, the experts Ruth Rodríguez-Barrueco and Mireia Olivan, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and IDIBELL.

Bone metastasis is a common complication in prostate cancer and it reduces dramatically the patients’ survival options. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Barcelona, the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Centre (IDIBELL) and the Vall d’Hebrón Research Institute (VHIR) have identified a molecule involved in the prostate cancer-associated bone metastasis that could be useful in the design of new therapies for this pathology.

The study, published in the journal Cancers, reveals that cancer cells with a low expression of a specific molecule —microRNA-135b— show an increased capacity to establish the bone metastasis. Therefore, one of the functions of miR-135b would be to prevent this complication from occurring in the most advanced stages of the illness. The results were obtained thanks to the study of the samples taken from patients of the Department of Urology of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital.

“Therefore, analysing the levels of miR-135b in cases of prostate cancer could be an indicator of the prognostic of this illness, apart from being useful to design new treatments”, notes UB lecturer Mireia Olivan, first author of the study and member of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and IDIBELL. The study is coordinated by the experts Ruth Rodríguez-Barrueco, from the mentioned Faculty and IDIBELL, and Anna Santamaria, from VHIR.

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