This project will investigate how different amounts of a molecule called Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) affect the spread of prostate cancer to the bone, to work out whether LIF could be a new target for advanced prostate cancer treatment.
Dr Edwards has previously discovered that men whose prostate cancer eventually spreads to the bones, have an increased amount of Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor (LIF) in their blood. Once prostate cancer spreads to the bone, there is no cure and treatments are purely palliative. So it’s important to try to understand how prostate cancer spreads to the bone so that we can find new therapies to treat it.
Progress update (Year 2 of 3)
During the first two years of the project, Dr Edwards and the PhD student Christina found that the absence of LIF in prostate cancer cells altered their ability to move and invade, which is key to the metastatic process. They have also discovered that the amount of LIF is altered when prostate cancer cells were grown alongside bone cells and in the bones of mice with prostate cancer bone metastases. They have also found a number of clues as to how LIF is having this effect. Taken together, these results have identified LIF as an important player in the spread of prostate cancer to bone and the development of the associated bone disease.
Researcher - Dr Claire Edwards
Institution - University of Oxford
Grant award - £100,000
Reference - S13-012
PhD student - Christina Turner