A study from EntreMed, a biotechnology company in Rockville, MD shows that PSA, the chemical that is used to screen for prostate cancer, may actually function to inhibit prostate cancer.

The prostate gland is loaded with PSA. When it becomes infected or cancerous, the gland releases large amounts of PSA into the bloodstream, where doctors can measure its levels to check for cancer. PSA levels goes up in women with breast cancer and those women who have the highest blood levels of PSA are the ones most likely to survive their breast cancer and be cured.

Scientists added PSA to cancer cells and found that it prevented cancer cells from growing. PSA is an angiogenesis inhibitor, preventing tumors from growing new blood vessels, which in effect, starves them so they die. These findings may explain why prostate cancer grows so slowly that it can live in a man for many years and not kill him.

Another prospect is that scientists could use PSA to treat many different kinds of solid cancers such as those of the breast and prostate. Other studies show that PSA also liquefies semen after it clots soon after ejaculation. Men who lack PSA cannot become fathers because they produce ejaculates that clot and do not liquify to release the sperm so they can't swim toward the egg.

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute October, 1999.

Checked 8/9/05

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