Institution - Queen's University Belfast
Researcher - Dr Rich Williams
Grant award - £384,126
Duration - 2014-2017
Reference - PG13-021 Williams

In a nutshell

Legumain is a protein that is found at high levels in the most aggressive prostate cancers and this has been shown to be associated with poor prognosis for the patient. This study will develop Legumain inhibitors as a first step to providing a new way to treat aggressive prostate cancer.

Why we funded it

We need better ways to treat prostate cancer to prevent it recurring and spreading to other sites in the body (metastasizing). In this project, the researchers will be investigating a protein called Legumain. They have previously shown that when they stop Legumain from working in cells grown in the lab, the prostate cancer cells are killed while normal cells are not affected. They have also developed good inhibitors of Legumain and now they are going to optimise these so they can be used as drugs and test them in mouse models. This work could lead to a new therapeutic option for prostate cancers that currently have a poor prognosis.