Using preclinical models to discover new treatments for advanced prostate cancer
Despite many new treatments for advanced (castration-resistant) prostate cancer, this aggressive form of cancer remains incurable. A team of researchers at Monash University, Melbourne have established new preclinical models of advanced prostate cancer that can be studied in the laboratory.
Patient-derived xenografts (PDX) are primary tumours collected from a patient, which are then grown up in the laboratory setting. These tumours can be closely studied and new treatments can be tested prior to taking a drug to clinical trial.
The study, published in European Urology, successfully established a bank of castration-resistant prostate cancer PDX models and then used these models to test a range of drugs to see if they could slow growth of the cancer.
A particular set of drugs that inhibit protein synthesis in the cell were found to reduce tumour growth when used in combination. These exciting findings provide a strong rationale for testing these drugs in patients as part of a clinical trial.