Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Prostate cancer

Winter 2008

Special delivery

Cliff Berkman is taking aim at prostate cancer.

The Washington State University chemist is using part of the cancer cells themselves as a bull’s eye, targeting a protein that occurs on prostate cancer cells and nowhere else.

The protein, called PSMA (Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen), shows up as soon as prostate cells become cancerous. PSMA is different from PSA, the prostate protein that is currently used to diagnose prostate cancer. PSA is released by prostate cancer cells into the bloodstream. PSMA stays attached to the cancer cells, like a neon sign saying “CANCER HERE!”

Since PSMA is so specific to prostate cancer cells, Berkman thought that … » More …