Insight into the mechanisms linking the metabolism of fat to prostate cancer progression

In a nutshell

This project will investigate the link between fat metabolism and development of aggressive prostate cancer, with the aim of identifying a way to distinguish between aggressive and indolent prostate cancer at diagnosis.

Why we funded it

Some prostate tumours are aggressive and need treatment to prevent the cancer growing and spreading to other sites in the body (metastasising). Other prostate tumours (indolent tumours) stay dormant and never need treatment. It's really important to be able to tell the difference between these two tumour types in order to work out the best therapy, and avoid unnecessary treatment. Although scientists are trying to answer this question, at the moment PSA testing, direct examination and biopsy are still the only tests available to patients.

This study will expand on some existing research, which suggests that there is a link between fat metabolism (the process by which dietary fat is absorbed and broken down) and the growth and spread of prostate cancer (how aggressive it is). The ultimate goal of this work is to find a new way to diagnose aggressive vs. indolent prostate tumours, and possibly also identify future drug targets to treat prostate cancer.

Grant information

Institution - King's College London
Researcher - Dr Claire Wells and Dr. Mieke Van Hemelrijck
Grant award - £99,710
Duration - 2013-2016
Reference - S12-008 Wells