Prostate Cancer Research

This page explains our work on prostate cancer research and the involvement of the Robert Lane Tissue Bank.

Improving Non-Invasive Early Diagnosis and Reducing Side Effects of Treatment for Non-Significant Prostate Cancer

Medical teams need to decide who requires treatment after prostate cancer is diagnosed and who can be safely ‘observed’ with routine follow up.

Prostate cancer treatments often have serious side effects such as impotence and incontinence. Better understanding of prostate cancer would enable scientists to identify which are likely to progress. This would enable better treatment options.

To achieve this, thousands of cancer samples need to be collected and tested.

Research has shown the potential of using Circulating Tumour Cells (CTSs) for prostate cancer diagnosis. CTCs have the potential to indicate cancer aggressiveness. Further research is essential to validate these findings.

The researchers also want to better understand the role of genetic changes in cancer development. This work needs to take place through ongoing continuing collaboration with the international consortiums in prostate cancer genetic risk and somatic genetic analysis.

Research Into the Best Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer

For advanced disease there are several markers which might help with treatment choices. This ‘bespoke’ or tailor-made treatment is called personalised medicine and may help to decide which drugs a patient receives.

Supporting Research into Cancer-Causing Genes

Dr Prabhakar Rajan from Barts Cancer Institute has recently co-authored at senior level a Study in the scientific paper, Cell Reports, which identifies how a cancer-causing gene regulates genetic variation in prostate cancer. Orchid is delighted to have part funded this work. It is believed that this research may predict disease relapse and provide new drug targets to improve patient survival.

The Robert Lane Tissue Bank

The Robert Lane Tissue Bank is currently able to support Professor Berney’s research vision in several ways. The tissue bank is currently supporting research that includes:

  • Holding a large collection of ‘early stage’ and ‘late disease’ cases to support current research objectives,
  • Holding formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples from the Trans-Atlantic Cohort. There have already been several clinical pathological papers published from this data which have examined Gleason scores and have led to a review of Gleason grading and other important biomarkers.
  • Further work will be published from the cohort on early-stage disease, including work on prostate cancer scores and adverse histological factors.
  • The group, which has until now concentrated on early prostate cancer, is developing more collections of late prostate cancer. Over 500 cases have been received and processed for STAMPEDE (Systemic Therapy in Advancing or Metastatic Prostate cancer: Evaluation of Drug Efficacy. This is a major and multi-faceted study.
  • Histopathology reviews are carried out by Professor Berney and histopathologist Dr L Mendes.
  • Over 1,000 patient samples have been stained for a proliferation marker called Ki67 by the Robert Lane Tissue Bank technician. Initial results suggest that it may be a powerful prognostic and even predictive marker, helping to determine treatment.

Unveiling the Role of Obligate Anaerobes and Vitamin Deficiency in Prostate Cancer Progression: A Promising Path for Non-Invasive Detection and Prevention

This new research led by Dr Belinda Nedjai aims to elucidate the intricate relationship between obligate anaerobes and vitamin deficiencies, particularly Vitamin D and K2, in prostate cancer progression. To read more about it, click here.