Drugs that home in on these genes could slow down or even stop the march of the disease, the most common cancer among British men.
Some 37,000 cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK and it kills more than 10,000 annually.
Scientists from the Medical Research Council in Edinburgh focused on so-called stromal cells, which are not cancerous but play a vital role in controlling the spread of the disease.
Comparison of stromal cells taken from healthy, diseased and embryonic prostates flagged up 15 genes believed to be key to the growth of cancerous cells, the journal Oncogene reports.
Researcher Dr Axel Thomson said: ‘Stromal cells are in effect the “puppet masters” of cancer growth and, although not cancerous themselves, they can have a big effect on how tumours grow.It is indirect but it couldn’t be more important. Read More