Scientists develop new drug for treating aggressive prostate cancer

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In a new study from Cleveland Clinic, researchers have identified a promising drug target for treating and preventing aggressive, drug-resistant prostate cancer.

They found that inhibiting the protein H6PD led to strongly reduced tumor sizes and improved survival in drug-resistant prostate cancer.

The H6PD levels also were elevated in biopsied patient tumors, suggesting the protein might be targeted in patients for treatment.

These findings suggest an entirely new strategy for treatment of men with this aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Enzalutamide, a current standard-of-care hormone therapy for metastatic prostate cancer, works by blocking androgen receptors, which are proteins that help drive cancer cells.

While initially effective, most patients eventually develop resistance to the treatment.

In the study, the team found that inhibiting the H6PD protein can reverse drug resistance in prostate cancer cells.

By blocking this protein, they were able to prevent cancer cells from utilizing their backup fuel supply—cortisol and its receptor.

When they blocked this pathway, tumors begin to become responsive to standard treatments again.

The team says this finding is key to better understanding how disruptions in cortisol metabolism contribute to cancer cells’ growth and spread.

They showed elevated levels of H6PD in both animal models and patient tissues, particularly after treating tumors with enzalutamide.

These findings hold promise for novel precision medicine approaches in the management of men with aggressive prostate cancer.

If you care about prostate cancer, please read studies about this prostate cancer treatment linked to Alzheimer’s disease and findings of a new treatment to destroy prostate cancer.

For more information about prostate cancer treatment and prevention, please see recent studies about this diet may drive prostate cancer development and results showing that this depression drug may help fight prostate cancer.

The study is published in Science Translational Medicine. One author of the study is Nima Sharifi, M.D.

Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.