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Novel drug against advanced prostate cancer

A candidate drug, which acts in a novel way, has shown promising results in the laboratory against advanced prostate cancer that was insensitive to reduced levels of male sex hormones, according to a paper published in Nature Communications journal.

Prostate cancers initially tend to be sensitive to male sex hormones, known as androgens. Treatment to reduce androgen levels, either with drugs or surgically, can inhibit the growth of such cancers. However, prostate cancers can become insensitive to androgen levels. There are limited treatment options for such ‘castration-resistant prostate cancer.’

Ganesh V. Raj, a urologic cancer surgeon at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in the U.S., and his colleagues have designed a small protein-like molecule that could block the androgen receptor’s interaction with PELP1.

In the Nature Communications paper, they reported that the molecule, D2, was able to prevent tumour growth in a mouse prostate cancer model. “D2 is in advanced pre-clinical testing and we hope will make it to clinical trials soon,” he added.

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