Identification of new targets for the treatment of androgen-independent Prostate Cancer

Current treatments for advanced prostate cancer eliminate the growth-promoting effects of androgens such as testosterone. Unfortunately, while this treatment is initially effective in reducing prostate growth, the usual outcome is an untreatable form of prostate cancer where the cancer becomes androgen-independent (grows without androgens). Steven Quayle is working to isolate the different genes that are expressed (activated) at different hormonal stages of prostate cancer. He is using a technique where prostate cancer cells grown in hollow fibres progress to androgen-independence in a controlled, reproducible manner. This will allow Steven to confirm the changes in gene expression that consistently occur with disease progression, and study in more detail the role of particular genes. These genes may be useful as indicators of disease progression, as well as potential targets for treatment.