Why we funded it
The options for the treatment of bone metastases in men with
prostate cancer are limited. Research into this new form of gene
therapy will offer an important step forward in understanding how
to improve this for men.
Using macrophages to target therapeutic virus to primary and
metastatic prostate tumours.
Research project summary
Dr Muthana's team plans to develop a new treatment for men with
advanced prostate cancer. Tumours growing in the prostate gland and
in the bone contain areas of low oxygen concentration. Cancer cells
in these low oxygen areas are notoriously difficult to treat as
they are have a poor blood supply and so are difficult to reach
using chemotherapy. Normal oxygen levels are also needed for
radiotherapy to be effective.
Dr Muthana has previously discovered that white blood cells
called macrophages migrate from the bloodstream and congregate at
high numbers in these low oxygen areas. Her current research will
explore whether these macrophages can be exploited to get them to
deliver anti-cancer genes to primary prostate tumours and secondary
'metastases' in the bone.