The grant has been awarded by Prostate Cancer UK through its Movember Foundation Translational Awards Scheme, which will ensure that this ground-breaking project, along with three others, is accelerated through lab tests and clinical trials and ultimately into the clinic for men.
A total of £1.5 million has been set aside for the awards in order to drive forward access to new treatments and better diagnostic tests for men with prostate cancer. This is the first time that the charities have reserved funding for research of this nature that focuses on taking promising treatments or techniques and moving them significantly closer to becoming available to men.
Professor Hing Leung and his team at the University of Glasgow will use the funds to run a phase II clinical trial to test whether taking statins - which are traditionally used to lower cholesterol levels - alongside hormone therapy can delay the time it takes for advanced prostate cancer to become resistant to hormone therapy.
Professor Leung said; “Hormone therapy is commonly used to extend the lives of men living with incurable prostate cancer. However, men eventually become resistant to the treatment and are left with few alternative options. We believe that statins combined with hormone therapy could increase overall duration of cancer remission. As part of this study, we will also use both blood and prostate cancer tissue samples to develop new tests to track how well the cancer is responding to these treatments.
“We are so grateful to the Movember Foundation and Prostate Cancer UK for funding this work.”
The project will last four years and will then be fast-tracked to a large scale clinical trial at multiple centres in the UK before being translated into routine clinical practice.
Dr Matthew Hobbs, Deputy Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK said; “Men with advanced prostate cancer have very few treatment options, especially once they become resistant to hormone therapy.
“We hope that this research will enable these men to remain on hormone therapy for longer so that they can continue a good quality of life for as long as possible.
“Funding this work has only been made possible through money raised by the thousands of Mo Bros and Mo Sistas who take part in Movember every year. With another campaign now drawing to a close, we can all do our bit to help us take the next step in the fight against prostate cancer.”
Funding from The Movember Foundation has enabled Prostate Cancer UK to rapidly accelerate its mission to find answers to many of the questions that still surround prostate cancer. People can still donate to this year’s Movember campaign at: https://uk.movember.com/
For further information on Professor Leung’s research, go to: http://prostatecanceruk.org/research/research-we-fund/translational-research-in-biomarkers