Targeting a protein to treat prostate cancer that is no longer responding to hormone therapy

University of BathDr Matthew David Lloyd£91,1102011 - 2014

Why We Funded It:

Men with advanced prostate cancer that has spread outside of the prostate gland have very few treatment options, and their survival of the disease is further limited by the cancer's ability to develop resistance to hormone treatments. There is a clear need to invest in research to focus on new ways to control and treat advanced prostate cancer.

 

Scientific Title: Targeting AMACR to treat castrate-resistant prostate cancer

 

Research project summary:

The project is to study an important protein in prostate cancer, known as AMACR. High levels of the AMACR protein are found in all prostate cancers, and reducing the levels or interfering with its function stops the cancer from growing. The initial aim is to establish exactly what the protein does in the cancer, and how it works. More importantly the study plans to produce new approaches that will stop the protein from working, which can be later optimized to produce new prostate cancer treatments. Current therapies eventually fail as the cancer stops responding to hormone therapy and develops drug resistance, usually about 2 years from starting treatment. This failure results in rapid cancer progression and ultimately, death. Interfering with AMACR has been shown to stop cancers becoming drug resistant and our approach should prevent treatment failure and hence extend life-expectancy. The project will ultimately tell us what the AMACR protein does, how it does it, and will start the development of new medical treatments based on this knowledge.