Compound Blocks Growth|of Prostate Cancer in Mice

     (CN) — Attacking recurrent prostate cancer may now be easier after researchers discovered a compound that appears to stunt the disease’s growth.
     In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, researchers from Duke University detailed how the chemical compound tetraaryl cyclobutane, or CB, was able to block testosterone from fueling tumor development in mice.
     Prostate cancer has presented challenges for doctors since some prostate tumors have grown resistant to anti-androgen drugs which block the effects of male sex hormones. The resistance compounds a health issue that leads to over 26,000 deaths annually.
     “Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer in men, and the principal driver of tumor growth is the androgen receptor,” study co-author John Norris said in a statement. “Suppression of androgen receptor function by anti-endocrine therapies is initially effective, but most tumors develop resistance, resulting in a more aggressive cancer.”
     The team focused on a group of CB compounds developed in conjunction with researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While the compounds act as competitive inhibitors of androgen receptors, they are structurally different from existing anti-androgens such as enzalutamide.
     One of the CB compounds was particularly effective at inhibiting mutant forms of the androgen receptors that facilitate resistance to enzalutamide, by preventing the androgen receptor from entering the nucleus of the cell where it can promote tumor growth.
     “It’s encouraging that this compound has a different mechanism of action when compared to current therapies, which gives it a good chance of having efficacy in resistant disease,” Norris said. “We have shown in animal models that the compound has activity against prostate tumors where enzalutamide fails.”
     One in seven American men will develop prostate cancer during their lifetime.

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