Inhibiting the FoxM1 protein may offer a new way to attack prostate cancer, according to a study led by scientists at Cincinnati Children’s.

The study, published Aug. 2, 2013, in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, shows that expression of the FoxM1 protein is essential for prostate cancer to develop in mouse models. The study also shows that depleting FoxM1 in prostate epithelial cells inhibits tumor cell proliferation and metastasis.

“It is possible that FoxM1 is important for both cancer initiation and cancer progression,” says Tanya Kalin, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist in the Division of Pulmonary Biology and senior author of the study.  “Our findings provide the foundation for the development of new therapeutic approaches based on inhibition of FoxM1.”

FoxM1 is known to be involved in most solid tumor cancers. Kalin’s lab published a study in 2006 showing that increased levels of FoxM1 were associated with the development and progression of prostate cancer in mice. Although the current study focuses primarily on prostate cancer, the findings also may help researchers better understand other pediatric diseases.