Working to Stop Prostate Cancer Metastasis
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A team of UK researchers has won a $1.1 million Department of Defense grant for their efforts to identify protein markers in prostate cancer cells that indicate a likelihood of spreading diseased cells.

Approximately 234,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. That makes prostate cancer the second-most common cancer among American men, after skin cancer. More than 27,000 deaths due to prostate cancer are expected to occur this year in this country.

Haining Zhu in biochemistry and Natasha Kyprianou in urology, who are leading this research, are using a biochemical approach using mass spectrometry to identify “proteins of interest” in prostate cancer cells These proteins have been identified as susceptible to metastasize to other organs. Metastasis of prostate tumor cells to other organs, primarily to the bone and lymph nodes, is the main cause of death for prostate cancer patients.

The research could lead to new diagnostic tests that could head off the spread of prostate cancer cells to other tissue in the lungs, liver and other organs, and could reveal new protein targets for therapeutic prostate cancer treatment.

Zhu, associate professor in molecular and cellular biochemistry in the UK College of Medicine, and Kyprianou, James F. Hardymon Chair of Urology Research in the College of Medicine, have collaborated on this research focus for more than three years. Their partnership won them a Synergistic Idea Development Award (SIDA) grant awarded from the Department of Defense. The proposal was one of only five awarded nationwide under the SIDA program this year.

photo of children

Natasha Kypriano