Eight teams, one goal: find a cure for prostate bone metastasis
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men and causes 3,300 deaths in Australia and 250,000 deaths per annum, world-wide. Although treatments are available for localised disease, 40% of patients will eventually develop metastases, specifically metastases to the skeleton. The mechanisms responsible for metastatic prostate cancer are unknown and as a result metastatic disease remains incurable and is invariably lethal.
With no cure, understanding how prostate cancers develop in the skeleton is critical if we are to develop new approaches to treatment. This will depend on being able to find, and study, the individual prostate cancer cells that initiate the development of cancers that grow in bone. Until now, addressing these questions has not been technically possible.
However, ProMis (Prostate Cancer Metastasis) research uniquely brings together researchers from different backgrounds, each with diverse skills and proven track records in their areas of expertise, to tackle this problem. ProMis has now developed unique clinical cohorts and animal models of prostate cancer. For the first time, it is possible to identify individual dormant cancer cells in the skeleton that will allow the researchers to study the cells that cause prostate cancer bone metastasis.
ProMis draws on highly experienced Prostate Cancer investigators as well as experts from other fields including bone biology, breast cancer research, transcriptomics and genomics.
Together, ProMis will develop novel models of Prostate Cancer metastasis, assemble world-class clinical cohorts of dormant and overt bone metastases, and interrogate these platforms by bringing to bear our new technologies, including single cell genomics/transcriptomics, high resolution genome mapping and single cell intravital imaging of dormant cancer cells, to the challenge.
The initial focus of ProMis is to define dormant prostate cancer cells and identify new therapeutic targets and approaches that regulate dormancy.
A Movember Revolutionary Team
The ProMis team are proud recipients of a Movember Revolutionary Team Award through the generous support of the Movember Foundation in partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. The pioneering research of the ProMis team has resulted in renewed funding to mid-2019.
- Jaratlerdsiri, W. et al. Next generation mapping reveals novel large genomic rearrangements in prostate cancer. Oncotarget 8, 23588–23602 (2017).
- Croucher, P. I., McDonald, M. M. & Martin, T. J. Bone metastasis: the importance of the neighbourhood. Nat. Rev. Cancer 16, 373–386 (2016).
- Lawson, M. A. et al. Osteoclasts control reactivation of dormant myeloma cells by remodelling the endosteal niche. Nat. Commun. 6, 8983 (2015).
- Baschuk, N., Rautela, J. & Parker, B. S. Bone specific immunity and its impact on metastasis. BoneKEy Rep. 4, 665 (2015).
- Croucher, P. I., Parker, B. S., Corcoran, N. & Rogers, M. J. Bone Turnover Markers and Prostate Cancer: Not Just a Measure of Bone Disease? Eur. Urol. 68, 51–52 (2015)