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Identifying new drugs for prostate cancer therapy

By Dr Catherine Drummond

Dr Catherine Drummond has been funded $241,659 to support her research.

Dr Catherine Drummond, University of Otago

Identifying new drugs for prostate cancer therapy

Prostate cancer accounts for 27% of all male cancers and every year over 3000 New Zealand men are diagnosed with the disease. The poor survival rate of patients with metastatic disease highlights the need to find more effective treatment strategies for prostate cancer patients.

Previous research has shown that a protein called Δ133p53β is highly expressed in some cancer types and promotes cancer growth when dysregulated. We think that Δ133p53β may play a role in prostate cancer. Thus, it is thought that inhibiting Δ133p53β activity may have a therapeutic benefit for patients. Currently there are no known inhibitors of Δ133p53β, nor is it known how to inhibit Δ133p53β pharmacologically.

Our researchers will develop a strategy for identifying Δ133p53β inhibitors. They will also test a number of clinically approved drugs for their ability to inhibit Δ133p53β.

How will it help people affected by cancer?

If successful, this research could lead to the first known Δ133p53β inhibitors and provide new approaches for treating prostate cancer patients.