New imaging approach fast tracks drug testing for incurable prostate cancer

March 17, 2014
The imaging approach involves a combination of bioluminescent cells, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and computed tomography (CT). This combination of techniques allows for the most accurate clarity on tumour growth within bone to date, as well as analysis of the impact on the healthiness of the bones themselves.

Cancer Research UK-funded scientists have developed a new way to test the effectiveness of a drug for prostate cancer that has spread to the bone, which is currently incurable, according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The researchers, based at the Cancer Research UK Cancer Imaging Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, have successfully used a combination of imaging techniques* to see how a drug called cabozantinib can stop this type of growing in mice.

One great advantage of this approach is that the tumours closely resemble how prostate cancer develops in . The ability to test these new treatments accurately offers huge potential for the use of drugs like cabozantinib in clinical trials.

Dr Simon Robinson, leader of the Radioisotope Physics team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said: "Until now we haven't been able to directly measure how effective treatments are for this type of incurable prostate cancer. But together these imaging techniques allow us to watch how the tumour and the surrounding bone are affected by new drugs.

"This approach can tell us how fast the cancer is growing and the potential impact on a patient's quality of life. Our work with the drug cabozantinib suggests it may provide pain relief in addition to stopping . This method allows us to accelerate development of these promising new prostate cancer drugs from the laboratory to the clinic."

Prostate cancer affects around 41,700 men in the UK each year. Over 80 per cent of men will survive the disease for at least five years. But prostate cancer that has spread to the bone is much more difficult to treat.

Nell Barrie, Cancer Research UK's senior science communications manager, said: "Prostate cancer most often spreads to the bones, where it is currently incurable. We need this type of research to develop frontline treatments for prostate cancer patients. This approach will help us discover successful treatments more quickly and save more lives."

Explore further: Researchers identify target for shutting down growth of prostate cancer cells

More information: Timothy J. Graham, Gary Box, Nina Tunariu, Mateus Crespo, Terry J. Spinks, Susana Miranda, Gerhardt Attard, Johann de Bono, Suzanne A. Eccles, Faith E. Davies, and Simon P. Robinson. "Preclinical Evaluation of Imaging Biomarkers for Prostate Cancer Bone Metastasis and Response to Cabozantinib." JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst dju033 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/dju033 first published online March 14, 2014

Related Stories

Researchers identify target for shutting down growth of prostate cancer cells

March 6, 2014
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified an important step toward potentially shutting down the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Scientists finally discover which prostate cancers are life-threatening

November 19, 2013
Cancer Research UK scientists have discovered that the presence of a specific protein can distinguish between prostate cancers that are aggressive and need further treatment from those that may never seriously harm the patient.

Unusual combination therapy shows promise for preventing prostate cancer, researchers find

September 17, 2013
Combining a compound from broccoli with an antimalarial drug prevents prostate cancer in mice, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) researchers discovered.

Bone turnover markers predict prostate cancer outcomes

March 7, 2014
Biomarkers for bone formation and resorption predict outcomes for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer, a team of researchers from UC Davis and their collaborators have found. Their study, published online in the ...

Study identifies a key cellular pathway in prostate cancer

February 10, 2014
Mayo Clinic researchers have shed light on a new mechanism by which prostate cancer develops in men. Central to development of nearly all prostate cancer cases are malfunctions in the androgen receptor—the cellular component ...

New kind of scan finds cancer's sleeper cells

March 4, 2014
Researchers have developed a new imaging technique that lights up cancer's sleeper cells, warning patients and doctors of a potential relapse according to a study published in Cancer Research today.

Recommended for you

Stem cell therapy attacks cancer by targeting unique tissue stiffness

July 26, 2017
A stem cell-based method created by University of California, Irvine scientists can selectively target and kill cancerous tissue while preventing some of the toxic side effects of chemotherapy by treating the disease in a ...

Understanding cell segregation mechanisms that help prevent cancer spread

July 26, 2017
Scientists have uncovered how cells are kept in the right place as the body develops, which may shed light on what causes invasive cancer cells to migrate.

Study uncovers potential 'silver bullet' for preventing and treating colon cancer

July 26, 2017
In preclinical experiments, researchers at VCU Massey Cancer Center have uncovered a new way in which colon cancer develops, as well as a potential "silver bullet" for preventing and treating it. The findings may extend to ...

Compound shows promise in treating melanoma

July 26, 2017
While past attempts to treat melanoma failed to meet expectations, an international team of researchers are hopeful that a compound they tested on both mice and on human cells in a petri dish takes a positive step toward ...

Study may explain failure of retinoic acid trials against breast cancer

July 25, 2017
Estrogen-positive breast cancers are often treated with anti-estrogen therapies. But about half of these cancers contain a subpopulation of cells marked by the protein cytokeratin 5 (CK5), which resists treatment—and breast ...

Breaking the genetic resistance of lung cancer and melanoma

July 25, 2017
Researchers from Monash University and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC, New York) have discovered why some cancers – particularly lung cancer and melanoma – are able to quickly develop deadly resistance ...

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.