New drug targets for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer

Why we funded it

Men with advanced prostate cancer have limited treatment options, further hampered by the cancer's ability to develop resistance to standard treatments. There is a clear need to invest in research to focus on new ways to control and treat advanced prostate cancer. This project is a PhD studentship to test a new approach for developing drugs against a protein called the androgen receptor.

Scientific title

The Androgen Receptor Amino-terminal Domain: A Novel Drug Target for the Treatment of Castrate Resistant Prostate Cancer

Research project summary

This project aims to identify and develop new drug targets to block the activity of a protein inside the prostate called the androgen receptor. This protein interacts with testosterone and is known to drive the growth of prostate cancer in the presence of testosterone, but also in the absence of testosterone and when the cancer is no longer responding to hormone therapy.

The aim is to demonstrate that the androgen receptor protein represents a novel drug target. The eventual failure of current hormone-based therapies means there are few treatment choices for men with advanced, drug resistant disease.

The present proposal offers the potential of identifying new drug targets that will allow the androgen receptor to be switched off in both the presence and absence of hormones. This will block the activity of the androgen receptor in cells which are no longer responding to hormone treatment. The plans described would provide a complement or alternative to current hormone-based treatments.

Grant information

Institution - University of Aberdeen
Researcher - Professor Iain McEwan
Grant award - £81,634
Duration - 2011-2014
Reference - S10-10 McEwan