The development and progression of prostate cancer are controlled by the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-regulated transcription factor. Current therapy for advanced prostate cancer has focused on the inhibition or disruption of the AR signalling axis. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is focused on inhibiting the nuclear activity of AR. While this is effective, ADT is associated with multiple side effects including osteoporosis, decreased libido, and erectile dysfunction. Unfortunately, while this treatment is initially effective in most patients, the tumour recurs in many patients within 2 years. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), such as exosomes, are vesicles secreted by cells to mediate communication with surrounding cells and can be isolated from blood. We recently discovered that EVs can influence the AR signalling axis in prostate cancer. This project aims to characterise the role of EVs in regulating the development of bone metastatic prostate cancer. This project involves vesicle isolation and characterisation, co-culture and imaging of prostate cancer and bone cells in 2D and 3D, pathway analysis, and isolation of blood-derived vesicles for a potential biomarker.
Suitable for a PhD student.