HOUSTON, April 1, 2011 A pair of University of Houston (UH) researchers and their colleagues will begin work to develop new methods for treating the most severe form of prostate cancer thanks to $5.2 million in grants recently awarded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT).
Renowned hormone researcher Dr. Jan-ke Gustafsson, Robert A. Welch Professor in UH's biology and biochemistry department and director of the Center for Nuclear Receptors and Cell Signaling (CNRCS), will oversee the multi-investigator award. The work will be an interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers from the CNRCS at UH, The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI) and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
As the founding researchers of CNRCS, Gustafsson and UH biology and biochemistry professor Margaret Warner will collaborate with Paul Webb of TMHRI and Marc Cox of UTEP to explore new treatments for prostate cancer. Gustafsson, who discovered a previously unknown estrogen receptor during the mid-1990s, is internationally recognized as a leading authority on hormone receptors and will lead the group in the discovery of innovative approaches to slowing the growth of early-stage cancers and combating late-stage cancers.
"More than 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed annually, affecting one in six men. In approximately one-third of diagnosed cases, the disease spreads and invades other tissues to become life-threatening," Gustafsson said. "Through this grant, we will be able to open the door for new and better therapies. Our early efforts have yielded promising results, and we look forward to building on our previous successes."
Prostate cancer grows and survives on male hormones called androgens, and current treatments target these naturally occurring hormones. This can result in negative and harmful side effects. In the most severe and recurrent forms, the cancer can become resistant to t
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University of Houston