Researchers from the University of East Anglia are launching a £250,000 project to develop a potential new treatment for advanced prostate cancer.
They have been awarded one of 17 Prostate Cancer UK grants as part of the first wave of funding through the charity’s ambitious new research strategy.
Researchers hope to develop a new way of targeting advanced cancer with chemotherapy so that more men can survive longer.
Chair in cancer genetics Prof Colin Cooper and honorary senior lecturer Dr Dmitry Pshezhetskiy, both from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, are leading the research team.
Prof Cooper said: “The chemotherapy drug docetaxel is one of the last options available to men with advanced prostate cancer, but unfortunately it often stops being effective after only a few months.
“We hope that, with this generous grant from Prostate Cancer UK, we can develop a new way to target the chemotherapy to the cancer cells and deliver a more effective treatment so that more men can survive longer in the future.”
As part of its MANifesto, Prostate Cancer UK has pledged to find answers to some of the most important research challenges facing the disease today. The charity is injecting £11 million into research this year to focus on the key areas of understanding risk, improving diagnosis of the disease and improving treatment options for men living with it.
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: “Due to a long legacy of underfunding and neglect we still know shockingly little about why prostate cancer kills 10,000 men every year. Prostate Cancer UK has vowed to scale up its mission to deliver so much more and so much better for men. By funding ground breaking projects such as this with the UK’s top research scientists we hope to be able to find the answers we so desperately need for the future.
“Thanks to the support of the Movember Foundation, Prostate Cancer UK has recently tripled its research spend to up to £25 million over the next three years. While this provides a fantastic launch pad, we desperately need more money to crack this disease once and for all. Through our recently launched Sledgehammer Fund we are calling on everyone across the country to get behind men and help us in this mission. Together we can, and will, beat prostate cancer.”
The grants were awarded via a competitive process, and were subject to detailed assessment from external peer reviewers and the Prostate Cancer UK Research Advisory Committee. All 17 of the projects which are to receive funding were chosen because of their extremely high quality and relevance to men with prostate cancer.