A new drug combination for treatment of advanced prostate cancer

The project in a nutshell

Investigating the use of a new drug for use in combination with standard treatments to treat advanced prostate cancer and stop it spreading.

Why we funded it

All tumours have areas which contain very low levels of oxygen (hypoxia). Recent studies have shown that hypoxic cells are important in making prostate cancer more aggressive, in particular in forming tumours in other parts of the body (metastasis). 

Bioreductive agents are a type of chemotherapy drug that only work in hypoxic conditions and kill aggressive hypoxic cells. We have shown in our mouse models that including a bioreductive drug with normal prostate cancer treatment stops the tumour from growing so quickly, but more importantly, stops metastatic deposits from forming. 

With the correct treatment schedule, the combination of a bioreductive drug with commonly used treatments for prostate cancer could increase the time that men have before their tumours stop responding to treatment. In addition it should reduce the number of painful bone metastases that men with advanced prostate cancer experience.

Grant information

Institution - University of Ulster
Researcher - Dr Declan McKenna
Grant award - £213,603
Duration - 2013-2016
Reference - PG12-02 Worthington