Study uncovers an additional strategy for targeting treatment-resistant prostate cancer

May 2, 2017
Micrograph showing prostatic acinar adenocarcinoma (the most common form of prostate cancer) Credit: Wikipedia

Prostate cancer cells depend on signaling through the androgen receptor (AR) to grow and survive. Many anti-cancer therapies that target ARs are initially successful in patients, including a class of drugs known as CYP17A1 inhibitors, which interfere with AR signaling by blocking the synthesis of androgen. However, over time, adaptations to AR expression and function lead to treatment resistance and disease relapse.

Recently, the observation that a CYP17A1 inhibitor, seviteronel, effectively treated a patient's prostate cancer without actually lowering androgen levels led researchers at Duke University to further investigate the drug's therapeutic activity.

In a study published this week in the JCI, a team led by Donald McDonnell found that many CYP17A1 inhibitors also function as competitive AR antagonists, indicating a more complex and potentially more effective role for the drug in treating prostate cancer. The researchers then demonstrated CYP17A1 inhibitors that act at AR receptors can inhibit the growth of prostate tumor cells expressing a treatment-resistant AR mutation.

These findings provide insights into a mechanism that may lead to the development of more effective therapies for treatment-resistant .

Explore further: A new method for prostate cancer imaging

More information: John D. Norris et al, Androgen receptor antagonism drives cytochrome P450 17A1 inhibitor efficacy in prostate cancer, Journal of Clinical Investigation (2017). DOI: 10.1172/JCI87328

Related Stories

A new method for prostate cancer imaging

July 21, 2016
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Tumor growth is critically regulated by the androgen receptor, and treatment strategies to lower androgens, such as testosterone, are a mainstay of clinical treatment. ...

New molecules may offer treatment option for some aggressive prostate cancers

April 2, 2017
Novel molecules called selective androgen receptor degraders (SARDs) may offer the next generation of treatment options for advanced prostate cancer, a new industry-sponsored study reports. The results of this research will ...

Compound shows promise as next-generation prostate cancer therapy

August 8, 2016
In the search for new ways to attack recurrent prostate cancer, researchers at Duke Health report that a novel compound appears to have a unique way of blocking testosterone from fueling the tumors in mice.

Castration-resistant prostate cancer cell growth impeded by endostatin

March 10, 2017
Failure of hormone deprivation therapy, which is used to slow prostate cancer in patients, leads to castration-resistant prostate cancer, a lethal form of advanced disease with limited treatment options.

New target for prostate cancer resistant to anti-hormone therapies

April 23, 2014
Prostate cancer becomes deadly when anti-hormone treatments stop working. Now a new study suggests a way to block the hormones at their entrance.

Combination immunotherapy effective for advanced prostate cancer

March 9, 2017
Advanced prostate cancer resistant to castration therapy appears to respond well to a combination of immune checkpoint blockades and treatments that target certain immune-busting cells commonly associated with poor patient ...

Recommended for you

Cancer immunotherapy may work better in patients with specific genes

December 15, 2017
Cancer cells arise when DNA is mutated, and these cells should be recognized as "foreign" by the immune system. However, cancer cells have found ways to evade detection by the immune system.

Scientists pinpoint gene to blame for poorer survival rate in early-onset breast cancer patients

December 15, 2017
A new study led by scientists at the University of Southampton has found that inherited variation in a particular gene may be to blame for the lower survival rate of patients diagnosed with early-onset breast cancer.

'Bet hedging' explains the efficacy of many combination cancer therapies

December 14, 2017
The efficacy of many FDA-approved cancer drug combinations is not due to synergistic interactions between drugs, but rather to a form of "bet hedging," according to a new study published by Harvard Medical School researchers ...

Liquid biopsy results differed substantially between two providers

December 14, 2017
Two Johns Hopkins prostate cancer researchers found significant disparities when they submitted identical patient samples to two different commercial liquid biopsy providers. Liquid biopsy is a new and noninvasive alternative ...

Testing the accuracy of FDA-approved and lab-developed cancer genetics tests

December 14, 2017
Cancer molecular testing can drive clinical decision making and help a clinician determine if a patient is a good candidate for a targeted therapeutic drug. Clinical tests for common cancer causing-mutations in the genes ...

Scientists unlock structure of mTOR, a key cancer cell signaling protein

December 14, 2017
Researchers in the Sloan Kettering Institute have solved the structure of an important signaling molecule in cancer cells. They used a new technology called cryo-EM to visualize the structure in three dimensions. The detailed ...

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.