In the European Union ~ 200.000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and that number is likely to increase due to the aging population. If the disease is truly localized, patients can be cured by radical local treatment. However, if the malignant process has locally or distantly spread, no curative medical intervention is currently available.
Since the early 1940-ties hormonal therapy has been the main stay in an attempt to control prostate neoplasms, but unfortunately this is only of palliative nature and tumour progression due to the expansive growth of cancer cells that are unresponsive to the currently available hormone therapies is inevitable. Prostate cancer has a strong tendency to spread to the bone, hence in order to combat the disease we have to explore the pathways that lead to hormone therapy unresponsive bone metastatic disease.
It has become clear that in the majority of advanced prostate cancers the androgen receptor signalling pathway is active even in the absence of androgens. EC research teams have a leading role in AR research and will integrate their efforts to exploit androgen receptor mediated signalling as a therapeutic target. These teams will join forces with investigators that study the interaction between prostate cancer cells and the bone micro-environment. The exploration of the pathways leading to hormone therapy unresponsive bone metastatic disease will use functional genomics and expression profiling as technology platforms.
These will also be used to identify new targets. This will ultimately lead to the establishment of assays to identify new (lead) compounds. These new drugs can be tested for their efficacy in models for bone metastatic prostate cancer; hence translation of our knowledge into therapeutic strategies will also be integrated in this consortium to effectively combat prostate cancer.
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Funding SchemeIP - Integrated Project