Scientists Grow Prostate From Stem Cells
by UPI Wire
Feb 23, 2006

CLAYTON, Australia - Feb. 23, 2006 (UPI) -- Scientists in Clayton, Australia, say they have, for the first time, grown a human prostate gland from embryonic stem cells.

The scientists from the Monash Institute of Medical Research say it took them only 12 weeks to develop human embryonic stem cells into human prostate tissue equivalent to that found in a young man.

The study's co-authors, Prue Cowin and Renea Taylor, said their discovery will allow scientists to monitor the progression of the prostate from a normal to a diseased state for the first time.

"We need to study healthy prostate tissue from 15- (to) 25-year-old men to track this process," said Taylor. "Understandably, there is a lack of access to samples from men in this age group, so to have found a way we can have an ongoing supply of prostate tissue is a significant milestone."

"The tissue we've grown behaves as a normal human prostate, so it's the perfect model for testing the different hormones and environmental factors we believe play a role in the onset of prostate disease," said Cowin.

The research appears in the March edition of Nature Methods.