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Discovery of a Promising New Medication to Block ‘Master Key’ of Cancer Growth

By January 26, 2018No Comments

For years, researchers have investigated approaches to prevent cancer-causing cells from multiplying in the body. Now, Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) scientist Dr. Christopher Ong and colleagues have discovered a critical gene that drives cancer growth. From this discovery, they developed a new protein-based medication that prevents unhealthy cell growth that leads to prostate cancer, and potentially other cancers.

“This is the first-of-its-kind multi-receptor tyrosine kinase targeted therapeutic protein medication that can block prostate cancer growth,” says Ong, who is also a senior research scientist at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) and associate professor in the Department of Urologic Sciences at the University of British Columbia.

“We are optimistic that this new medication may have an enormous impact for future care,” says Ong.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer and third leading cause of death among Canadian men, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. While early diagnosis can increase the odds of a positive outcome, the common treatments of androgen receptor inhibitors, radiation and chemotherapy come with their own set of challenges, including urinary, bowel and erectile dysfunction.

“In our tumour models, we have shown that our new targeted drug significantly delays development of treatment-resistant forms of prostate cancer,” says Ong.