ENDOGLOW: Shining a light on early prostate cancer aggressiveness

In a nutshell

ENDOGLOW is a state of the art imaging tool that will allow us to accurately assess prostate cancer aggressiveness, giving patients and clinicians an early indication of whether treatment is necessary.

Why we funded it

One of the biggest hurdles that faces clinicians treating prostate cancer patients is knowing when, or if, the cancer has become an aggressive one. At present large portions of the prostate are removed to ensure no potentially aggressive parts are left. This project will create a new system called ENDOGLOW that will be able to identify any cells in the prostate tissue that have adopted invasive behaviour. This work will help inform clinicians about the best treatment for the patient and help improve the quality of life and increase the survival rate of men with prostate cancer.

Progress so far

In the first year of this project work has started in the chemistry lab to create a set of new agents called ENDOGLOWS that will be used to image the prostate gland. Small glowing particles that 'glow' bright green, orange or red can be observed on the magnetic resonance-imaging (MRI) scanners. The different coloured Endoglows will hopefully attach to the different forms of a protein found in human prostate cells that is known in some forms to cause cancer to spread. In healthy cells only the green Endoglows will attach to the healthy version of the protein and glow green. In cancer cells only the red Endoglows will attach to the cancer-spreading version of the protein and glow red. This will form a unique ‘traffic light’ system that will help clinicians spot the cancerous cells most likely to spread.

Grant information

Researcher - Dr Justin Sturge
Institution - University of Hull
Grant award - £100,000.00
Reference – S14-017