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For some men who have received positive PSA tests for prostate cancer, common treatments like radiation, hormone therapy and even surgery are ineffective at completely eradicating the tumor. However, a team of Swedish researchers is currently working on developing a new therapy that attacks prostate tumors at the root.
Researchers from Lund University have identified a method that may attack and kill prostate cancer stem cells. These can be extremely resistant to most common treatments and if they are not completely destroyed following radiation or surgery, they can cause the cancer to return.
The new therapy works by targeting a specific protein in prostate cancer stem cells. The researchers found that the STAT3 protein is integral to the ability of stem cells to grow and regenerate. They also noted that the natural compound galiellalactone inhibits the activity of STAT3.
Any treatment derived from this method would still be a number of years away. The discovery is still in its very early stages. However, the researchers said they believe using this knowledge to design new pharmaceuticals could significantly improve existing prostate cancer treatments.
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