Why we funded it
Dr Thomson is looking at prostate cancer in a radically new way.
His approach will hopefully provide a more complete understanding
of the control of prostate cancer cells and generate new ideas and
opportunities for new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
Scientific Title: Analysis of stromal signaling
pathways in human prostate cancer initiation and progression.
Research Project Summary
The prostate is mostly made up of two types of cells -
epithelial cells and stromal cells. Prostate epithelial cells are
associated with the function of the prostate and can turn
cancerous. Prostate stromal cells help hold the structure of the
prostate together and do not usually grow into tumours. Dr
Thomson's previous work suggests that the stromal cells may be
important in the development of prostate cancer. His team thinks
that the stromal cells can help cancerous epithelial cells to grow
and multiply. The stromal cells may even be able to turn normal
cells cancerous. To date there has been very little research in
this area. Dr Thomson intends to investigate this new field in
detail using a new experimental system he has developed. His team
is able to extract stromal cells from small prostate tumour samples
and add them to laboratory grown prostate epithelial cells. This
allows the team to study the effects these stromal cells have on
the epithelial cells.