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July 18, 2013

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Research pierces prostate cancer's armour

Researchers at the University of Victoria have found a chink in the armour of aggressive prostate cancer and are using a Movember Discovery Grant from Prostate Cancer Canada to pursue potential treatments that exploit that weakness.

“Prostate cancer is the leading cause of death in males in Canada, and we are targeting the most advanced forms that can develop when surgery, radiation and hormone therapies have failed,” says Dr. Fraser Hof, UVic’s Canada Research Chair in Supramolecular and Medicinal Chemistry.

Hof is investigating specific molecules that inhibit a protein called Chromobox 7 (CBX7), which fuels uncontrolled tissue growth in the most advanced prostate cancers. His team has developed unprecedented inhibitors of CBX7, and will use the two-year, $200,000 Movember Discovery Grant to demonstrate the approach’s potential to generate new drug treatments.

“We have a lot of results so far that look very promising at the level of the test tube—this grant is the required next step to go beyond that,” says Hof. “We’ll know at the end of two years how these inhibitors affect cancer within a whole organism. If we can block CBX7, we hope to make treatments for the most aggressive forms of prostate cancer.”

Prostate Cancer Canada announced 40 Movember Discovery Grant recipients across Canada on Wednesday. The program supports new directions in prostate cancer research.

Media advisory: Dr. Fraser Hof is available for interviews after 3 p.m. Thursday, July 18.

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  Media Contacts:

Dr. Fraser Hof (Dept. of Chemistry) at 778-679-8302 (cell) or fhof@uvic.ca
Tara Sharpe (UVic Communications) at 250-721-6248 or tksharpe@uvic.ca

 

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