Researchers have discovered stem cells in the prostates of mice and grown complete prostates from them, but said they want to use the findings to search for better treatments for prostate cancer.

 

The team at California-based Genentech Inc  said human beings have similar stem cells in their prostates, although they have so far not grown human prostate glands from the cells."Our primary goal would be to identify possWe were not focusing on the generation of organs," Wei-Qiang Gao, who led the study said.ible cancer stem cells.

The walnut-sized prostate produces the semen that carries sperm. Later in life, it can enlarge and cause problems with urination and can also become cancerous.

"A total of 14 prostates were generated from 97 single cell transplants," the Genentech team wrote in their report, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.

"This is, to our knowledge, the first report to demonstrate prostate generation from a single adult stem cell."

Stem cells are the body's master cells, giving rise to various tissues and the blood. They are found throughout the organs, blood and tissue and are in immature form until they generate needed cell types.