Investigation into whether we can control hormone resistant prostate cancer better by adding statins to traditional hormone treatment

In a nutshell

This project addresses whether adding statins to hormone treatment will improve treatment response in hormone resistant disease, and whether any new tests can track how well the cancer is responding.

Why we funded it

This project could provide an avenue to use statins and hormone manipulation in patients with lethal prostate cancer where standard hormone treatment tends not to work well. If successful, the information from this study will inform a larger clinical trial with the end-goal to make this routine clinical practice for patients with hormone resistant prostate cancer. The researchers also plan to identify a new tracking device for monitoring the response to this treatment.

Progress so far…

So far, the team has started to recruit and collect data on the 35 patients they need for the trial, however they have not yet found enough patients to get clear results. To speed up this process, they have adjusted the rules so that more men can be included in the study. They may also consider increasing the number of hospitals the study recruits patients from.

In the next year, the team hope to recruit all the patients, and lab analysis will be performed on the collected blood samples, to test them for the most useful biomarkers, which track how the cancer is responding. The team are also collecting tumour biopsies from some of the patients to look for signs that the statins have helped to prevent the cancer from becoming resistant to hormone therapy, as well as to study some of the key genes involved in prostate cancer.

The team will consider the trial a success if the patients’ PSA levels drop by 50 per cent or more over the 6-week course of statin treatment. If this is true, the team will look into conducting a larger trial.

Grant information

Researcher – Professor Hing Leung
Institution - University of Glasgow
Grant award - £463,460
Reference – PG14-009-TR2