Institution - Queen’s University Belfast
Researcher - Professor Kevin Prise
Grant award - £99,273
Duration - 2011-2014
Reference - S10-08 Prise

Why we funded it

There is an urgent need for new and improved treatments for prostate cancer, and this study is attempting to use a combination of existing treatments to make them more effective. Developing new drugs is an expensive and time-consuming business, and we welcome the opportunity to trial small-scale initiatives which may allow existing treatments to be used more effectively against prostate cancer.

Scientific title

Optimal radiation targeting of PTEN deficiency in castrate resistant prostate cancer in combination with modulators of DNA damage and repair.

Research project summary

This project will investigate a new, more effective way to treat prostate cancer by improving the effects of current radiotherapy techniques. Treatment with drugs that prevent repair of the DNA following radiation exposure will be tested to try and stop tumour resistance to radiotherapy. The study therefore aims to try and make these tumours more sensitive to radiotherapy. The first drug that will be tested stops a protein called PARP from helping in the repair of damaged DNA. The second drug that will be tested stops a protein called ATM which normally detects DNA damage at an early stage and triggers its repair.  Tests will also be performed to ensure that none of these combinations of drugs and radiation damage normal cells and tissues. This will allow design of the most optimal treatment. The project could eventually lead to new treatments for advanced prostate cancer that is no longer responding to other treatments, and for which currently there is no effective cure.

What our peer reviewer had to say

The applicants present an exciting proposal that addresses an important aspect of prostate cancer, how to improve the treatment of castration resistant prostate cancers. Their proposal takes advantage of relatively recently developed inhibitors utilized in a novel fashion.

What our Research Advisory Committee had to say

This is high quality science which may lead to an important therapeutic outcome.