Behind melanoma, prostate cancer was the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and in 2012 it killed more than 307,000 people worldwide.
Prof. Anthony Costello, the leader of Royal Melbourne Hospital-based team said they have performed series of real-time tests on cancer patients, before arriving at the final conclusion.
He said the test was to determine that metastatic cancers “re-seed” in other parts of the body, spreading tumors and speeding up the devastating effect of the crippling condition.
“The research is conducted over a decade, using live cancer cells from prostate cancer patients throughout,’’ he said.
Costello said the current treatment of prostate cancer was on the right track, adding that the research, published in medical journal Nature Communications, would help develop more effective treatment.
“What it tells us is that it’s very important to remove the primary cancer if you can, if you don’t take it out it could be re- seeded from another metastasis,” he said.
“What we are doing now is saying if you have limited metastasis spread of cancer cells.
“We can take the primary cancers out and shrink those remaining metastasis by surgically removing lymph nodes or by stereo statically radiating the site,’’ he added.
Costello said the research also uncovered a “genetic signature” that some metastatic cancers cells share.
According to him, this can mean that cancers that are more likely to spread can be removed a lot earlier in the treatment phase.
“In the future, the aim is to detect metastatic cancer cells long before they spread, lowering the chance of the tumors turning lethal,’’ he said.
“The discoveries open the door for more effective tumor removal procedures, even if the cancer is in advanced stages,’’ he said. (Xinhua/NAN)
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