NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – UK charity Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR) has given £2.2 million ($3.6 million) to fund research at the University of York that will blend genomics and stem cells studies in an effort to understand the causes of prostate cancer.
The researchers will study the DNA sequences of prostate cancer cells to search for sequences involved in the disease and for molecular properties that allow the cancer to survive, spread, and resist treatment, YCR said.
The researchers also will partner with drug company Pro-cure Therapeutics to develop new drugs to target prostate cancer stem cells and attack the root cause of the disease.
"We will use knowledge gained from the human genome project to look at the DNA sequence of the cells and more importantly to find any missing pieces from the sequence," University of York Biology Professor Norman Maitland said in a statement. "We will also examine the arrangement of the proteins that coat the DNA and how they are modified."
The researchers also intend to further develop laboratory models of prostate cancer to test current and new treatments including radiation and drugs on cancer stem cells. "Using these methods we hope to identify survival mechanisms of the cancer stem cells so we can develop a new generation of treatments of treatments to undermine and kill them," said Maitland.