Investiguer les facteurs moléculaires qui influencent la progression du cancer de la prostate

 

Paul Toren

Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec - Hôtel Dieu de Québec

 

Domaine : Cancer

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2016-2017

Despite many newer treatments for advanced prostate cancer, it remains incurable once it has spread outside the prostate. As well as the need to develop newer treatments, there is a pressing need to understand how to best use existing treatments. Current treatment approaches are not yet personalized or based on molecular characteristics of the tumour. The proposed research aims to provide a scientific framework for personalized medicine and aims to identify novel markers which may be developed to select the best treatments for each prostate cancer patient.

Our prior research demonstrated that levels of testosterone in the blood after castration can predict which patients will have a recurrence of cancer years later. This research seeks to further investigate biological explanations and markers for this phenomenon. We will use laboratory models and a detailed analysis of blood steroid levels from the same study as our prior research to explore how certain steroids influence the behavior of cancer cells to become resistant to current treatments.

Secondly, we will explore ways to better target a molecular signaling pathway called the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway which is known to be active in resistant prostate cancer. Following prior research which has shown co-targeting this pathway is highly effective, we aim to discover markers that can reliably predict which patients will respond to new inhibitors of this pathway. We will use a cutting-edge technology to evaluate changes which occur in protein production, termed translation, as a result of activation of this cancer pathway. Overall, our work investigating sex steroids and the PI3K/Akt/mTOR in prostate cancer aims to identify new biomarkers and therapeutic targets which can lead to better outcomes for men with prostate cancer.