Bradford researchers to develop important new treatments for prostate cancer

Two exciting new research projects aimed at developing new treatments for prostate cancer are to take place at the University of Bradford.

Funded by The Prostate Cancer Charity, these innovative new projects aim to develop drugs which are significantly more effective in fighting the disease compared to current treatments available.

Taking place at the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, based at Bradford University, the first of the two projects is led by Dr Jason Gill. Dr Gill and his team received £257,816 to develop over the next three years a ground-breaking new drug which travels directly into the heart of the cancer. The drug, which remains inactive in the body until it comes into contact with the cancer, then releases a toxic chemical which will attack the tumour.

Dr Gill said: "This new funding will allow us to accelerate our efforts into helping to improve the treatment options for men living with the most advanced stages of prostate cancer. We are really excited to have received this grant from The Prostate Cancer Charity, as it has allowed us to further build upon our successful work in developing new drugs which help to tackle this disease."

An additional grant of £49,992 has been awarded to Dr Helen Sheldrake, to help develop a treatment to stop advanced prostate cancer from spreading to and growing in the bone - a process which causes pain and disability for men with the disease.

The research will seek to develop small molecules which block a particular type of protein - β3 integrins - involved in allowing prostate cancer to survive, grow, and spread through the blood stream and into the bones.

Dr Sheldrake said: "We believe that the β3 integrins will be a very effective target for treatment and has the potential to significantly increase a man's quality of life. We are delighted to receive pilot funding from The Prostate Cancer Charity which allows us to start testing the hypothesis."

The grants have been awarded, as part of The Prostate Cancer Charity's ongoing program of investment in research to help tackle the disease. This year, the Charity has awarded over £2 million, to institutions across the UK.

Dr Kate Holmes, Research Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity said: "We are incredibly excited to be funding two such groundbreaking projects at the University of Bradford. These projects were selected as we believe that they will be able to deliver key results which will help provide real benefit to men living in the very final stages of this disease, for whom very few treatments remain. We are looking forward to working closely with both teams and eagerly await the results of the studies."