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Promising Research for Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Promising Research for Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

Authored by: Jessica Matande, PA-C

Prostate cancer affects millions of men worldwide.  It is the second most commonly occurring cancer in men, and it is estimated that one in seven men will develop prostate cancer by the age of 60.1  Castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) has become increasingly challenging to manage.  Current treatment is not targeted specifically to the root cause of what allows CRPC to proliferate.

Recent research performed by BioMedical Research at the University of Bern in Switzerland has found a targeted therapy that may be effective in CRPC treatment.  It is known that specific regulating enzymes, such as phosphatidylinositol (PI), are often affected in various cancer pathways, and drug development has been centered around these enzymes for more than 30 years.  In the article published in Science Advances,2 the Swiss group explains they believe they are the first to identify a specific enzyme (PI5P4Ka) which is in a family of lipid kinases that regulate intracellular PI.  Their studies with mice have demonstrated that PI5P4Ka could be used as a target to disrupt prostate cancer metabolic adaptation to castrate resistance.2

The target enzyme is believed to work by dysregulating the protein mTORC1.  This protein is known as the “master regulator of cell metabolism,” and has been become increasingly useful in treating cancers of various types. There have been more than 700 clinical trials of PI3K/AKT, an important PI that is part of the mTOR pathway, and there are at least 334 trials listed as ongoing or currently planned involving a spectrum of cancers including prostate cancer.2  This is an exciting development that shows promise in evolving the management of a currently problematic advanced cancer.

1 (2022, March 23). Prostate Cancer Statistics. WCRF.

2 Science Advances (2023, Feb 01). PI5P4Kα supports prostate cancer metabolism and exposes a survival vulnerability during androgen receptor inhibition SCIENCE.

Authored by:
Jessica Matande, PA-C
Oncology Advocate N1X10

Jessica has been a practicing Board Certified Physician Assistant since obtaining her degree from Arcadia University in 2013. She has worked in orthopedics and urology and has spent several years working specifically in urologic oncology at an academic medical center. She has published a book chapter discussing the management of patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment for metastatic renal cell carcinoma that is featured in a handbook for advanced practice providers working in urologic oncology. She believes thorough education and honest conversation create the best path to empowering clients in their journey.

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