Current research into prostate cancer
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Saving lives through our research
From international studies looking for preventable causes of prostate cancer, to pinpointing the faulty genes that drive prostate cancer growth, our researchers are working hard to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat prostate cancer. Below are some examples of how our scientists are tackling prostate cancer right now.
Our current researchers
Investigating 2 new molecules
Dr Ivan Ahel in Oxford is finding out how 2 recently discovered molecules, called MACROD1 and MACROD2, may help prostate and breast cancers develop. Researchers think these proteins might be linked to cancers with a worse outcome, and may also make tumours more resistant to treatment. Dr Ahel wants to get a better understanding of what these proteins are doing in cancer cells, and he hopes that in the future this might help find new ways to diagnose the disease and offer ideas for new treatments.
In Birmingham, Professor Nick James is leading a major clinical trial called STAMPEDE. It aims to find the best treatment for men with newly diagnosed, advanced prostate cancer. The trial’s novel design allows different treatments and treatment combinations to be compared to standard treatment. The aim is to see if these combinations can further improve survival, delay the cancer coming back or improve quality of life. The trial has already produced results showing how certain drugs can substantially improve survival for this group of men.
Understanding cancer genetics
In London, Professor Ros Eeles is researching the genetics of prostate cancer. She’s studying whether genetic information could be used to monitor men most at risk of the disease, or used in a screening programme. She is also looking at whether the patterns of inherited genetic faults in a prostate tumour affect how it should be treated. This could lead to more personalised treatment of men with the disease.
Understanding faulty communication
Professor Hing Leung at our Glasgow Institute is studying prostate cancer. His lab is looking at how faulty communication inside prostate cells leads to cancer. He’s got a special interest in how tumours hijack the way prostate cells produce energy and survive despite treatment characteristics of aggressive prostate cancer. He hopes to learn more about the biology of the disease which could lead to new ways to treat it.
Finding the best radiotherapy treament
Professor Emma Hall in London is working with a team of clinical investigators on a prostate cancer clinical trial. It will compare four different types of radiotherapy to find out which works best as a treatment for patients who are at high-risk of their cancer spreading. The trial tackles the disease on two fronts by targeting both the prostate and pelvic area with radiotherapy and by boosting treatment to the tumour itself. The main aim of the trial is to reduce the chances of the cancer coming back.