Understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of hormone resistant prostate cancer

Why we funded it

This project will characterise the activation and destruction of the androgen (hormone) receptor protein, which is a key molecule in prostate cancer growth. This will potentially lead to development of a second line of therapy to benefit patients with advanced prostate cancer who no longer respond to currently used therapies.

Scientific title

The role of ubiquitin in androgen receptor function in prostate cancer.

Research project summary

Hormone therapy is the mainstay of treatment for advanced prostate cancer that has spread beyond the confines of the prostate. Unfortunately, it is only effective for a time and eventually the cancer escapes control and resumes growth.

This study will examine one of the possible reasons behind the failure of hormone therapy for advanced prostate cancer by studying an important regulator of prostate cancer growth - the androgen receptor (AR) protein.

Professor Robson's research team have already found evidence that the switch that turns the AR protein on and off stops working properly as prostate cancer progresses.

This project will examine this switch in detail, specifically to understand whether it is the inability to turn the AR protein off that contributes to tumours becoming hormone resistant and recurring.  Only by understanding this process can researchers begin to develop a new line of therapy targeted at the AR protein to extend survival for men with the most advanced stage of prostate cancer.

Grant information 

Institution - University of Newcastle
Researcher - Professor Craig Robson
Grant award - £195,485
Duration - 2010-2013
Reference - PG09-23