ToPCaP UK Gets Three New Grants
August 6, 2013

ToPCaP UK Gets Three New Grants

King’s Health Partners R&D Challenge Fund (2013-2014)

“The Lymphoid Stress Surveillance to predict prostate cancer prognosis”

PI: Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck; Co-PI: Prof Adrian Hayday

Several recent reports have provided data that cancer development is substantially controlled by the immune system, and that immunotherapy may be a credible strategy in cancer. The body harbours a natural mechanism, termed Lymphoid Stress-Surveillance (LS-S), whereby Natural Killer and gamma-delta T cells eradicate DNA-damaged cells. Provocatively, LS-S displays an unexpectedly high level of inter-individual variation that we hypothesise underpins heterogeneity in immune-mediate tumour surveillance. This is an important hypothesis to test, since prospect of LS-S as a natural regulator of malignancy would provide novel means to assess patients’ condition and a basis for proposing potentially more tolerable therapies that promote it.

Dimbleby Cancer Care Marianne Bjerke Blake Research Award 2012-2013

“Exercise in advanced cancer”

PI: Dr Jo Armes; Collaborators: Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Prof Lorelei Mucci

This study aims to assess the acceptability and feasibility of participating in a walking intervention using a pre-existing, nationally available walking programme over 3 months for persons newly diagnosed with advanced cancer. If successful, this offers a sustainable and cost-effective exercise intervention to large numbers of people with advanced cancer that may improve physical and psychological outcomes.

Prostate Cancer UK PhD studentship

“The FAS/AMPK axis as a determinant of prostate cancer progression”

PI: Dr Claire Wells; Co-PI: Dr Mieke Van Hemelrijck

Our aim is to identify whether there are underlying molecular mechanisms that link FAS activity with migration and invasion of PCa cells. We aim to: (1) test whether elevated FAS increases PCa cells’ invasive potential; (2) test whether commercially available FAS inhibitors or reduced FAS expression can inhibit PCa cell migration and invasion; (3) identify novel FAS associated cytoskeletal signalling pathways that may lead to increased invasive potential. We also aim to identify how the degree of deregulation of the FAS/AMPK system affects PCa progression by linking the immunohistochemical assessment of FAS over-expression and AMPK activation at time of diagnosis with progression to metastasis.