13 Dec 2013

A peptide which targets a protein commonly associated with advanced prostate cancer could form the basis of a treatment for the disease, according to research released today (Friday 13 December 2013).

In a study conducted on mice, scientists at Nottingham Trent University used peptide to target the protein Prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), which is over-expressed in 95 per cent of prostate cancer tumours. Results from the study suggest that the peptide, PAP-114-128, could prevent or reduce the growth of cancer tumours.

An existing treatment for prostate cancer, Provenge, targets the same protein with a similar mechanism of action. Provenge, currently available in the US, is awaiting NICE approval for use on the NHS.

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said:

"There are simply too few treatment options available for men with advanced prostate cancer and we need to offer men a greater choice of effective therapies. This study is interesting because it is based on an existing therapy used in the US but is proposing to adapt it to make it cheaper and easier to use. If successful it could lead to a new generation of immunotherapies.

Although this is a good mouse model, it’s too early to tell whether this study will translate into humans so we need to see further investigation to see if this treatment may have benefits for men with prostate cancer. One man dies from prostate cancer every hour so we need more research into better treatments in order to beat it once and for all."

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