In Europe, around 80 cases of prostate cancer per 100,000 population diagnosed each year. However, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind this disease. A fundamental dilemma is the difficulty in identifying clinically important cancers, while they are confined to the prostate gland.
Conversely, it is important to identify clinically unimportant cancers so that patients can be spared aggressive treatment. Enhanced understanding of the molecular basis of development of this disease is sorely needed in order to enhance the treatment options and to develop more sensitive and specific prostate cancer diagnostic and prognostic tools.
MicroRNA (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA that control gene expression by effectively preventing mRNAs from being translated. The miRNAs play an important role in development and cellular processes such as differentiation, cell growth, cell death and stem cell division, all of which closely linked to cancer.
It has been shown that miRNA are aberrantly expressed in several forms of cancer e.g. leukaemia, colon, breast, and lung. Preliminary studies have indicated that the levels of certain miRNAs are altered in prostate cancer. In the proposed study archived tissue samples of prostate tumours and normal tissue will b e used to isolate miRNA that due to their short length are basically unaffected by the harsh fixation and embidding processes these samples have gone through.
Differentially displayed miRNAs will be identified using qRT-PCR and confirmed with in situ hybridisation onto tissue microarrays. The biological relevance of the miRNA is confirmed in vitro by introducing anti-miRNA probes, and predicted miRNA targets confirmed.
Further, the miRNAs potential in diagnostic use miRNA will be determined on serum samples from prostate cancer patients. This study will combine archive material with clinical data and the latest molecular technologies in order to gain novel information.
Fields of science
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineoncologyprostate cancer
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesbiochemistrybiomoleculesproteins
- medical and health sciencesmedical biotechnologycells technologiesstem cells
- natural sciencesbiological sciencesgeneticsRNA
- medical and health sciencesclinical medicineoncologyleukemia
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