Androgen-regulated proteins: predictors of prostate cancer development and progression [ 2001 - 2003 ]

Also known as: Proteins regulated by male sex hormones predict development and progression of prostate cancer

Research Grant

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Researchers: Dr Catherine Choong (Principal investigator) ,  A/Pr David Horsfall Prof Villis Marshall Prof Wayne Tilley

Brief description Use of PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels in blood to screen for prostate cancer has resulted in a) earlier detection of tumours and b) increased diagnosis of a premalignant disease of the prostate called PIN (prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia). PIN is thought to progressively change into cancer, which can invade the rest of the body. Growth of the cells of the prostate is regulated by male hormones called androgens. Small cancers localised to the prostate grow in response to androgens, but larger cancers which have spread from the prostate grow steadily even after the androgen supply is cut off by removal of the testicles. In this project we will examine changes in the level of various proteins in the prostate, which are known to be produced in response to androgen, to see whether they discriminate: 1) those patients with PIN who will go on to develop prostate cancer, 2) those patients with small cancers within the prostate who progress to widespread cancer. We also propose to use a laser-controlled dissecting microscope to obtain pure populations of cancer cells from prostate tissues and then to isolate their DNA in order to: a) examine the DNA sequence of the protein which controls cellular growth in response to androgen (ie the androgen receptor) to see whether undesirable changes (mutations) have occurred in its structure during the development of the cancer, and b) identify proteins which mediate the effects of the androgen regulated proteins and control cancer development or spread. This will be done using the revolutionary technique of gene microarrays, where partial DNA sequences of approximately 4,000 different prostate genes are spotted onto small membrane filters, and which enable identification of genes that change in level with the onset of cancer and cancer spread. These 2 objectives will, in the case of a) prevent inappropriate treatment for prostate cancer, and b) identify targets for new treatments and for chemoprevention.

Funding Amount $AUD 391,073.44

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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