Modelling Prostate Cancer

Professor Matthew Smalley and Dr Boris Shorning


Dates: October 2017 – January 2021

Location: Cardiff University

Amount: £335,895

2021 marked the successful conclusion of Professor Matt Smalley and Dr Boris Shorning’s project. We are incredibly proud of what they have achieved, and of how well they collaborated with other PCR researchers. The insights they gained into why cancers spread and the potential for an anti-diabetes drug in prostate cancer give the field a clear direction towards new therapies.

Professor Matt Smalley and Dr Boris Shorning developed innovative, world-first models to test the effectiveness of treatments for metastatic prostate cancer, to see if they are good enough and safe enough to move into humans.

Over the three years of this project, they collaborated extensively with other PCR researchers, and played a crucial role in testing compounds developed by other researchers to see if they prevented prostate cancer growth.

They also provided critical insights into the role of Plexin B1, a molecule which controls how cells respond to their environment. They compared two forms of Plexin B1 (normal and mutated), to see which increases metastasis.

They showed that increased levels of the mutated, but not the normal form, stimulates cancer to advance, and, looking at patient data, they discovered that patients with mutated Plexin B1 have worse outcomes compared to patients without Plexin B1 mutations.

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