Through testing mice that have an abnormality in certain common chromosomes that are found in prostate cancer, researches from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center were able to prevent tumors from growing and spreading with the help of the drug YK-4-279. (Photo of lab mouse by Rama, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons).
“Having a compound that works in mouse models brings us closer to early phase human clinical trials,” says the Aykut Üren, MD, a lead researcher on the project and professor at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer affects about every 1 in 7 men in the United States with those over the age of 65 at the greatest risk, and is the cancer with the second highest death rate to men (behind lung cancer).
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The Georgetown research team found that the drug YK-4-279 was able to target chromosomal translocations that are often found in prostate cancer cells. These chromosomal translocations are known to be formed when two regular genes break apart from a chromosome and join together somewhere new, producing new genes that make proteins and help with the spread and strength of prostate cancer cells. This process is known as ETS fusion.
In their testing of the YK-4-279 drug, mice both with and without ETS fusion were studied to see how they responded the the new treatment.
"YK-4-279 was very effective against the mice with ETS fusion and was not effective against the mice without it,” Üren explained. “That demonstrated to us the specificity with which the drug works, and gave us a good reason to expect a similar response in patients with ETS fusion-positive prostate cancer in future clinical trials.”
With more than $50 million in active NIH funding and $147.5 million in total life science R&D expenditures in 2012, researchers at Georgetown University are well funded and making great contributions to life science research. Departments at Georgetown receiving substantial amounts of NIH funding include:
- Medicine and Internal Medicine - $32.2 million
- Biochemistry - $2.2 million
- Neurosciences - $2.1 million
- Biology - $1.1 million
- Pathology - $1.1 million
*Data from NIH RePorter
Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. produces an annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event at Georgetown that provides lab supply companies with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with more than 150 life science researchers. Lab suppliers who participate in this event are able to:
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