Prostate Cancer UK awards researchers crucial grant for pioneering prostate cancer study

Issue date: 09 September 2016

Researchers from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have received a grant of over £136,000 to develop and test a new potential treatment which could be effective in treating as many as half of men with advanced prostate cancer.

The grant has been awarded by Prostate Cancer UK as part of the charity's new £2.6 million Research Innovation Awards scheme. This initiative encourages researchers to develop forward thinking, ambitious research proposals which challenge the status-quo.

The researchers, led by Dr Michael Ladomery (UWE Bristol), plan to test a new drug that works by disrupting the activity of a cancer promoting gene called ERG which is activated in over 50% of advanced prostate cancer cases.

Dr Ladomery said; “There are currently too few treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer and those currently available unfortunately don't work for every patient. This project will carry out the essential pre-clinical testing that will demonstrate whether or not there is value in taking this new type of drug through to clinical trials.

“This type of treatment has never been attempted before, but if we're successful it could produce a new way to treat prostate cancer in up to 50% of men with advanced disease.

“We're incredibly grateful for this grant from Prostate Cancer UK and can't wait to get started.”

Prostate cancer kills nearly 1,000 men in the South West every year and over 3,800 are diagnosed with the disease. Over the next ten years Prostate Cancer UK has set out to tame prostate cancer so that it becomes a disease that doesn't pose the same threat to men's lives that it does today. In order to achieve this aim, the charity is concentrating all of its research firepower on three key areas: diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK, said; “Through shifting the science over the next decade, we want to transform prostate cancer into a disease that the next generation of men will not fear.

“We're delighted to be funding our first ever Research Innovation Awards, which has been made possible thanks to the generous donations of our supporters. We challenged the research community to think creatively and send us ideas we'd never seen before, that could really change the game for men. We weren't disappointed. Pioneering research like this from Dr Ladomery, is going to play a key role in helping us to achieve our ten year goal and we're looking forward to seeing how this research progresses.”

Dr Michael Ladomery, Associate Professor of Biomedical Science, will work in collaboration with Dr Lee Spraggon, Senior Research Scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York and Dr Sebastian Oltean, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol.

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