A scientist at Glasgow University was awarded £70,000 to investigate why advanced prostate cancer fails to respond to treatment.
Dr Joanne Edwards was given the award by the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR).
The prostate is found near the bladder, and helps make and expel semen, but is a common source of cancer. About 25% of all new cancers diagnosed in men are prostate cancers with about 10,000 deaths in the UK each year. Prostate cancer cells normally only multiply in the presence of androgens - the male sex hormones. The main drug treatments for the disease work by blocking their effect but in cases were prostate cancer is at an advanced stage, cells are able to grow without androgens, meaning the drugs fail.
Research already carried out by Dr Edwards suggests a chemically modified form of a protein, found in the cancer cells, appears to be responsible for making them fail to respond to the drugs.
Since this protein can be modified in 10 different ways, she will track the changes to determine if any are directly associated with the advanced stage of the disease.
Dr Mark Matfield, AICR's scientific adviser, said: "Dr Edwards' research will help us understand why our existing treatments do not work and give us vital clues about how we can develop new, effective ways to treat advanced prostate cancer."
Dr Joanne Edwards said: "Prostate cancer remains a largely underfunded and under researched area and I am therefore delighted to be given this grant. Funding like this is essential if progress is to be made in this very important area of cancer research."
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