US Pharm. 2013;38(7):HS-16.

A well-known protein, Caveolin-1 (Cav-1), plays an important role in the stroma, the cell-lined area outside of a prostate tumor, according to researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. Prior to this study, little was known about the role of Cav-1 within the stroma.

The study, published in the Journal of Pathology, found that a reduced amount of Cav-1 protein in the stroma indicated tumor progression, the opposite of its effect when it is within a tumor, where an increased Cav-1 level indicates tumor progression. Patients whose prostate tumor is surrounded by a stroma with decreased levels of the Cav-1 protein may have a worse prognosis.

“This research suggests that the cells surrounding a prostate tumor are equally as important as the tumor itself in helping understand the complexity of a man’s disease. This early-stage research may provide a new, future marker that may ultimately aid diagnosis and treatment, and personalize prostate cancer therapy,” said Dolores Di Vizio, MD, PhD, associate professor in the Urologic Oncology Research Program and senior investigator of the study.