A new breakthrough in growing prostate cells in a laboratory environment has the potential to supercharge research into treating prostate tumors through medication, a new research study has recently revealed.
Solving the Viability Problem
One of the many issues associated with researching pharmacological treatment methods for prostate cancer is the viability of prostate cells taken from the human body. It has proven exceedingly difficult to keep these cells long enough to experiment with different drug-based therapies, relegating researchers to use less-complex cellular analogues in the hopes that they will mirror the way a prostate tumor cell will behave in similar conditions.
This may be a thing of the past, though, based on a research study from Melbourne, Australia’s Monash University. Scientists from the university have been able to take donated tumor tissue and then grow them in a laboratory environment, allowing the university researchers to test new treatment methods that would have otherwise been impossible. The research itself, while preliminary, was able to find a combination of drugs that successfully inhibited growth in otherwise aggressive and treatment-resistant tumor cells.
The Best of Implications
This breakthrough, if replicable, is obviously good news. Eliminating one of the larger roadblocks to developing treatments for aggressive prostate cancers has the potential to save a great number of lives. With the ability to experiment with new drug treatments on living prostate tumor tissue in a controlled lab environment, research can be conducted faster and with more efficiency, leading to better and more effective treatments in the future that may not involve invasive measures such as surgery.
For now, the scientists behind the breakthrough have been keen to share their methods with as many others as possible. This has led to the researchers to spearhead the establishment of the Melbourne Urological Research Alliance to help disseminate the knowledge and techniques needed to encourage the growth of prostate cancer tissue outside of the body. With a prostate cancer diagnosis potentially catastrophic for not just a patient but the patient’s entire family, anything that can be done to support research is a major advantage.