Can suppression of a stem cell control gene stop prostate cancer spreading?

In a nutshell

A protein called latexin is not expressed in aggressive forms of prostate cancer. The researchers will investigate how the loss of latexin is associated with aggressive cancer by monitoring the changes that happen in a cancer cell when latexin is lost.

Why we funded it

We need better ways to treat the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer. This research focuses on a protein called latexin that normally controls the number of stem cells (cells that can replicate indefinitely) in bone marrow. Cancers are thought to have cells very similar to stem cells, called tumour initiating cells or cancer stem cells.

The researchers think that eliminating these cells may prove the key to curing aggressive prostate cancers. They will investigate what happens when latexin is lost from prostate cancer cells to find out if any of the affected genes can be used as therapeutic targets to treat prostate cancer.

Grant information

Researcher - Professor Norman Maitland
Institution - University of York 
Grant award - £192,658
Duration - 2014-2017
Reference - PG13-018 Maitland