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NCI Awards $9.6M for Research into Therapy-Resistant Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute has awarded a five-year, $9.6 million grant to a multidisciplinary team of researchers who will study the molecular underpinnings of prostate cancers that progress to a therapy-resistant state.

The grant will be shared by a team of basic science researchers and physician scientists at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and the University of Virginia, whose work could result in new drug targets "and provide a knowledge base for improving prostate cancer therapies," said one of the principal investigators, Bryce Paschal, a professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics and member of the Center for Cell Signaling at the University of Virginia, in a statement

The research will include the use of ultra-high-throughput DNA sequencing, molecular imaging, and the development of new transgenic animal models designed to "mimic the changes that occur in human prostate cancer," the University of Colorado said. It will focus on the contributions that cell growth, adaptation to limited nutrients, and cell motility make to the progression of prostate cancer to a therapy-resistant state.

The funding is for three projects. One will be directed at determining how hypoxic signals affect gene expression. Another will create new transgenic mouse models to better understand how kinases cooperate "to drive tumorigenesis." The third project will focus on how microRNAs regulate cell proliferation and prostate cancer progression.