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Prostate Cancer May Be Linked to Virus - RNASEL Gene Defends against Viruses

February 24th 2006

Prostate Cancer May Be Linked to Virus - RNASEL Gene Defends against Viruses

Comon Flu Viruses

Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic and the University of California San Francisco have identified a new virus in human prostate tumors.  They are not sure whether this virus is linked to prostate cancer yet. 

The virus was found more often in human prostate tumors with two copies of the RNASEL gene mutation than in tumors with at least one normal copy of the gene, Forbes reported.  Dr. Eric Klein said "This is a virus that has never been seen in humans before. This is consistent with previous epidemiologic and genetic research that has suggested that prostate cancer may result from chronic inflammation, perhaps as a response to infection."  Dr. Klein is head of urologic oncology at the Cleveland Clinic's Glickman Urologic Institute.


The researchers say that RNASEL is a gene that serves as an important defense against viruses.  Scientists have suspected that this gene mutation and virus may be responsible for some types of cancer. 

The scientists used a new “virus chip” to identify the virus.  This chip was used three years ago to confirm the identity of the SARS virus.  Klein says this finding validates the use of the virus chip to discover previously unknown viruses.  This may help us learn more about viral causes of disease.

There are other cancers that may be caused or related to viruses.  Liver and cervical cancer could be caused by a virus.  Now scientists are investigating whether diseases may play an important role alongside genetics in causing breast, stomach and several other forms of cancer.  There are environmental concerns as well.  Future treatments and possible preventative measures may include enzymes that help kill invading viruses. 


Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among American men, according to a CBS News report.  The finding was reported Friday at an American Society of Clinical Oncology prostate symposium in San Francisco. A full report will be published in the journal PloS Pathogens.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Cancer

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM