Researchers develop novel treatment for prostate cancer

November 29, 2012 by Katie Neal
Cancer research sparks cover story

(Medical Xpress)—The work of a team of Wake Forest researchers developing a novel drug for prostate cancer treatment is featured on the cover of the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

George Kulik, an associate professor of , Mark Welker, the William L. Poteat Professor of Chemistry, and Freddie Salsbury, an associate professor of physics, led an interdisciplinary team with expertise in computational physics, synthetic chemistry and cancer biology.

All cells, both normal and diseased, rely on the PI3K cell signaling pathway for growth, so inhibiting the pathway selectively for cancer cells has long been a challenge for scientists in the fight against cancer. While turning PI3K inhibitors loose in the body would prevent the spread of cancer, doing so would also inhibit growth in lots of cells.

To effectively use this strategy in the treatment of cancer, the Wake Forest team had to target these inhibitors to specific kinds of cells. Using prostate cells as the target, they selected a protein that is specifically recognized by prostate cells and attach that protein to a PI3K inhibitor.

"Most men over 50 are familiar with PSA, or prostate specific antigen, since elevated levels of that enzyme are markers for prostate cancer," said Welker. "We made a cell growth inhibitor that had the PSA recognized protein sequence added to it. The idea was that this compound itself would be nontoxic, but when PSA split the inhibitor from the protein sequence, that would release the cell growth inhibitor onto the prostate cells."

The concept has been proven to work in cells – good news, considering one in six American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, according to the .

treated with the cell growth inhibitor plus PSA recognized sequence died, while , by contrast, were unaffected by it.

"Given that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, this research could signal a major breakthrough," said Salsbury.

While these cell studies show promise in the treatment of prostate cancer, the team is awaiting grant funding to conduct pre-clinical trials.

Explore further: PSA test for men could get a second life for breast cancer in women

More information: pubs.acs.org/toc/jmcmar/55/22

Related Stories

PSA test for men could get a second life for breast cancer in women

July 13, 2011
The widely known PSA blood test for prostate cancer in men may get a second life as a much-needed new test for breast cancer, the most common form of cancer in women worldwide, scientists are reporting in a new study in the ...

Study identifies new prostate cancer drug target

February 6, 2012
Research led by Wanguo Liu, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has identified a new protein critical to the development and growth of prostate cancer. The findings are published ...

New treatment option for advanced prostate cancer

August 12, 2011
A successful interdisciplinary project is underway between two research groups, in which senior researcher Rebecka Hellsten and Professor Anders Bjartell at the Faculty of Medicine's division for Urological Cancer Research, ...

Prostate cancer early warning protein detected

May 31, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists at the University have discovered a protein, only present in prostate cancer cells, that could be used as a marker to detect early signs of the disease.     

PSA test valuable in predicting biopsy need, low-risk prostate cancer

October 21, 2011
The prostate-specific antigen test, commonly known as the PSA test, is valuable in predicting which men should have biopsies and which are likely to be diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, a Mayo Clinic study has found. ...

Recommended for you

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.