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Publications of the Week

Androgen Receptor-Binding Sites Are Highly Mutated in Prostate Cancer

By February 20, 2020No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in Nature Communications from
the laboratory of Dr. Nathan Lack at the Vancouver Prostate Centre.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

Our group works to understand the biology of prostate cancer in order to develop more effective treatments.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

In almost all prostate cancer patients, the androgen receptor (AR) is essential for the growth and proliferation of the tumour. While it is well known that mutations to the AR protein can cause drug resistance or altered activity, in this paper our group showed that the DNA locations where the AR binds are themselves heavily mutated. While preliminary, these mutations can change how the AR work and potentially affect the growth of the cancer.

What are the next steps for this research?

After identifying these mutations, we now need to test them individually to see if they affect AR activity and prostate cancer growth. This has required our lab to develop several new experimental techniques that are starting to bear fruit. I’m excited about this work as I think mutations at DNA binding sites are going to be increasingly important, not only in prostate cancer but other disease types.

This work was funded by:

Having recently joined the Vancouver Prostate Centre, I’ve been tremendously impressed by the support they have given our lab. By having so many talented scientists working on the same disease it has allowed our research to quickly move forward.

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