The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the incidence and progression of prostate cancer is related to ethnic group-specific CYP450 isoform profiles. The study also attempts to identify ethnic-group specific polymorphisms in CYP450 isoforms and determine ethnic group-specific mechanisms regulating CYP450 expression and prostate cancer progression using a novel 3-dimensional cell culture system ("spheroids").
The research will be conducted on Caucasian, Malaysian-Chinese and Malay ethnic groups (with high, low and medium incidence of prostate cancer respectively).
It is anticipated that this research will lead to the development of ethnic group-specific biomarkers for prediction of prostate cancer incidence and progression
ProtecT Trial (Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment)
We need to find out about the best way of treating prostate cancer before it causes any problems. At present, nobody knows which of three treatments is best: an operation to remove the prostate, or radiotherapy to the prostate, or careful monitoring with regular checkups. This study is not a trial of screening. There are no plans to introduce screening for prostate cancer in the UK because there is not enough evidence about treatment for the disease. It has not yet been shown that screening for prostate cancer is a good idea. The aim of the ProtecT study is to find out which treatments are best.
Alternative splicing in prostate cancer
This project is lab based and will test the hypothesis that the VEGF splicing switch in prostate cancer is controlled by SRPK1 and ASF/SF2 and modulation by agents that interfere with these agents is anti-angiogenic and inhibit tumour growth. We will do this by:
- Identifying the role of SF2/ASF phosphorylation, cellular localisation and exon specific enhancer sequences in the control of VEGF splicing in prostate cancer cells.
- Determining whether targeted disruption of splicing through direct and indirect splicing factor binding inhibition can inhibit prostate cancer angiogenesis in vivo.
- Determining the effect of this splicing factor inhibition on other genes implicated in prostate cancer development and progression.
Metabolic factors in prostate cancer
The aim of this project is to determine how altered availability of metabolic substrates affects expression of IGF-related genes in prostate cancer cells and to assess if these changes are induced by epigenetic changes in DNA methylation or histone acetylation. The study also attempts to investigate downstream effects of changes in IGF-related genes. Additionally this project will examine expression levels of IGF related genes in primary prostate tumours.
Circulating tumour cells: prognosis and diagnosis of urological cancers (CTC)
This study attempts to identify what prostate cancer patients CTC cells can be collected from and if the presence and number of CTCs can be linked to the diagnosis. The study also aims to identify if genetic biomarkers can be detected in prostate cancer CTC cells and if these markers can be detected in CTCs from both early and late stage prostate cancer patients
INDEX is a multi-centre prospective single arm intervention trial evaluating focal therapy for localized prostate cancer. In the INDEX trial, participants are being offered alternative approach which targeted to focal lesions within the prostate, leaving much of the gland untreated and minimizing the side effects from treatment. This is called “focal therapy”. “Focal therapy offers harm reduction – it is a strategy that attempts to redress the balance of harms and benefits by offering men an alternative to standard care who place high utility on genito-urinary function. In this study researchers first use two highly sensitive diagnostic techniques – MRI and mapping biopsies – to enable them to pinpoint the exact location of the cancer lesions. The researchers then targeted these areas with experimental treatment known as High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). The INDEX trial is now recruiting.
Enhancing Robotic Surgery with Augmented Haptics
Robot-assisted surgery (RAS) holds great promise for improving the accuracy and agility of a surgeon while minimizing trauma to the patient. However, widespread clinical success with RAS has been marginal. The major challenge is sensing forces applied to the patient. In this study we are trying to create a novel system called force and tactile (Haptic) feedback system. This system will enable surgeons to detect local mechanical properties of tissue such as compliance, viscosity, and surface texture which subsequently indicate the health of the tissue.
Page updated: 21 October, 2012