Outsmarting Metastatic Prostate Cancer

Grant supports research of new targeted therapy

Although highly treatable in its early stages, advanced prostate cancer remains a largely incurable disease due to the absence of effective therapies. As a result, each year over 32,000 American men lose their prostate cancer battles.

“Prostate cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and hormone therapy for advanced prostate cancer has largely failed,” explains Katerina Gurova, MD, PhD, an Assistant Member in the Department of Cell Stress Biology at Roswell Park. “After 60 years of extensive studies,  androgen deprivation therapy is the therapy of choice for patients with advanced prostate cancer,” she adds. “Unfortunately this therapy is usually effective initially, but rarely results in a cure. Most patients treated with such therapies relapse.”

In prostate cancer cells, the androgen hormone receptor is the main target for these therapies. This receptor controls the survival of therapy-resistant advanced prostate cancer cells. Armed with your donations, Dr. Gurova and her team are now exploring a new way to inhibit the survival of these cells.

“If we come up with a therapy to eliminate the androgen receptor, rather than the current approach of just inhibiting the receptor’s activity, we believe we can improve patient outcomes,” explains Dr. Gurova.

“Roswell Park donors have become a crucial partner in this effort,” she adds. “If successful, our plans are to parlay our results into a competitive national funding request so we can take it to the next level. This initial laboratory work could someday lead to a new drug to defeat the androgen receptor’s cancer-protecting qualities. We also hope to identify new and more specific targets for treatment.”