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New SoD study examines how body fuels prostate tumor growth

A phagocytic cell (red) in the process of engulfing a dying prostate cancer cell (green). (Image courtesy Hernan Roca)

Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov. 28, 2017 -– Among the myriad mysteries of cancer is how some types of the disease can fuel tumor growth as part of the body’s natural process for removing dead and dying cells. A new study from researchers at the School of Dentistry identifies the pathway by which this action occurs in metastatic prostate cancer cells.

The research could help with the development of drugs to block the harmful tumor acceleration, while still allowing the body to clear out the dying cells, said study lead author Hernan Roca, associate research scientist in the Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine.

The paper, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, was detailed in a story published on the university’s Michigan News website.

Authors include current and former faculty and staff from the School of Dentistry, U-M Medicine, John's Hopkins Medical School and the U-M School of Engineering.

The study can be found on The Journal of Clinical Investigation website.

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The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.

Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at dentistry.communications@umich.edu, or (734) 615-1971.