Our Research Innovation Awards are dedicated to funding the most impactful and innovative projects. They focus on new ideas, which tackle taming prostate cancer from a completely new angle. The idea is to give scientists the freedom to be inventive, and try ambitious projects that could mean big rewards for men.
Funding game-changing research projects like these are what Prostate Cancer UK is all about. These projects spur innovation in the field, they help us to plan our longer-term, larger investments and – ultimately – they help us to stop prostate cancer from killing so many men each year.
The scheme has run every year since 2017. Each time, our panel of experts have the difficult task of narrowing the submissions to the just some of the most promising. Now, we have 18 outstanding projects to show for it.
In the latest round of awards, we're funding Professor Simon Mackay to add the final touches to a pioneering new drug for men who are running out of treatment options.
- Reversing the switch from treatable to non-treatable prostate cancer
- From diabetes to prostate cancer: capitalising on an unexpected treatment effect
- Using next-generation imaging to improve treatment of prostate cancer in the bone
- Taking out prostate cancer’s sidekick to keep treatments working for longer
- A prostate cancer urine test
- Bursting the bubble on prostate cancer
- Developing a pioneering new drug and launching it into clinical trials
Thanks to the funding from Prostate Cancer UK, we now have the chance to bring this treatment one step closer to clinical trials. After all this time, I’d be over the moon if I could make that difference to men affected by prostate cancer.
In 2019, we funded Professor Paula Mendes to reinvent the PSA test. She’s using innovative nanotechnology to diagnose prostate cancer more accurately.
- Using a cancer-killing virus to treat advanced prostate cancer
- Stopping prostate cancer hiding from hormone therapy
- Focusing on targeted treatments to reduce side effects
- Derailing hormone therapy resistance
- Activating the immune system to clear up cancer
- Stopping prostate cancer growth in its tracks
- Testing precision medicine in mini prostate cancer tumours
- Reinventing the PSA test to improve diagnosis
At the end of two years, we want to demonstrate that our technology can detect prostate cancer with high accuracy. One day, the test could even be used to replace the PSA test.
In 2018, Dr Ning Wang started looking at whether exercise could prevent prostate cancer spreading to the bone, which could result in a simple new way to treat and prevent the disease.
- Building a prostate cancer vaccine
- Trapping hormone resistant metastases with radiotherapy
- Can exercise prevent cancer spread?
- Hitting the sweet spot: how sugars on cancer cells could lead to better diagnosis and treatment of aggressive prostate cancer
- Using clinical trial data to make changes faster
- Seizing the window of opportunity to test a new method of preventing cancer growth in men scheduled for surgery
- Reprogramming immune cells to fight back against cancer regrowth after primary therapy
There’s no denying that exercise is good for us but it could prove to be especially beneficial for the thousands of men diagnosed with prostate cancer every year and we’re delighted to be working with Prostate Cancer UK on this project.
Professor Norman Maitland started work on his Research Innovation Award in 2017. He's delving into the nitty gritty detail of patient response to therapy – not only which drug works best for each patient, but which drugs work best for individual cells within each patient. The researchers hope to use this understanding to work out how to optimise a man’s treatment to kill as many of his cancer cells as possible.
- Testing new drugs to sidestep resistance to hormone therapy
- Using stem cells as a Trojan horse to smuggle in a cancer-killing protein
- Targeting hardy cancer cells that survive radiotherapy
- Finding a way to tackle a common mutation that reduces the effectiveness of hormone therapy
- Personalising treatments for the different ways that individual cancer cells respond
- Testing the idea that bacterial infections could cause aggressive prostate cancer
- Using new drugs to block instructions from a cancer-promoting gene
- Building an atlas of radiotherapy doses to understand which men need stronger treatment
Thank you for helping us fund groundbreaking research
It is your support that allows us to fund ground-breaking research through our Research Innovation Awards. With your donations, they are pushing the boundaries of prostate cancer treatment, diagnosis and prevention. One day, research like this will stop prostate cancer being a killer.