Prostate cancer is one of the biggest concerns for men all over the world. It is, in fact, a very unpleasant subject that many people do not really want to dwell on it. New research shows, however, that there could be a vaccine that would protect men in the long run against prostate cancer.
At this stage, though, the vaccine has only been tested in mice. According to Dr. W Martin Kast of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, “By early vaccination, we have basically given these mice life-long protection against a disease they were destined to have. This has never been done before and, with further research, could represent a paradigm shift in the management of human prostate cancer.”
So what does the vaccine do? The most significant factor in prostate cancer is PSCA, or prostate stem cell antigen. It is very much expressed in prostate cancer cells while the healthy tissue does not show significant amounts. The vaccine works by stimulating an immune response against PSCA. In the study, the vaccine was administered to mice which were already affected by the cancer. The results showed that the mice who had the vaccine responded well and had extended life spans.
Though the testing has been limited to mice and there is no solid proof that it would work on humans, researchers are quite excited over the promising results. Indeed, if this vaccine ever finds it way into the market, we should all line up for shots.
Originally posted on March 17, 2008 @ 10:45 am