Why we funded it
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in British men. When
hormone treatment stops working in patients with advanced disease,
only a few options for treatment remain, including chemotherapy,
which often has limited efficiency and gives toxic side-effects.
Professor Helleday proposes to validate a target molecule for novel
treatment of prostate cancer. Drugs may be developed in future
directed to this target molecule with the potential to treat
advanced hormone-resistant prostate cancers.
Exploiting defects in DNA repair for treatment of prostate
Research project summary
Prostate cancer growth is dependent on testosterone and can be
treated with hormone therapy to reduce testosterone levels.
Hormone treatment is used mostly for advanced prostate cancer that
has spread beyond the confines of the prostate gland and is
therefore no longer suitable for surgery or radiotherapy.
Unfortunately, it is only effective for a time and after a few
years, prostate cancers often stop responding and start growing
Professor Helleday's project will look at developing an entirely
new type of treatment for advanced prostate cancer that has become
resistant to hormone therapy. This is based on exploiting a
defect in DNA repair that is present in prostate cancer cells but
not normal cells. The team already has experience of
developing this type of treatment for breast cancer, which has
already led to clinical trials. At the end of this project it
is hoped that the research will have located potential drug targets
in the DNA repair pathway that can be followed up by drug