Project Summary


Our bodies are made up of cells. DNA writes the code which makes our cells


Both cancer and healthy cells are created and controlled by their DNA


DNA Damaging Agents (DDAs) are drugs which can kill prostate cancer cells by damaging their DNA


Cancer cells have genetic changes which make them more vulnerable to DDAs than healthy cells, potentially meaning fewer side effects


Currently, DDAs work very well in some men, but not in others


Therefore, it is not clear which patients should be taking them and who should not


Using cancer cells donated from patients and the cutting-edge CRISPR technique, this project will create a new tool called ProCASP


ProCASP will be used to find patterns in DNA, which will tell doctors if their patient should take DDAs or not

About the Researchers

University of Cambridge

Dr Harveer Dev

Principal Investigator

Harveer is an academic urologist based at the University of Cambridge. He works at an interface of clinical care and cutting-edge scientific research, and seeks to understand why individual patients become resistant to treatment and how to overcome this.

The Research Project

DNA writes the code which makes our cells, and makes you you. Unfortunately, DNA is as fundamental to cancer as it is to life.


DNA damaging agents (DDA) can be used to treat prostate cancer. They can damage genes leading to the death of cancer cells, but at the minute, doctors can’t predict which cancers will be killed by DDAs and which won’t before they start treating a patient.

This project will create an exciting new tool called ProCASP, which will be used in the lab to increase our understanding of DDAs and which cancers they are effective at killing. ProCASP will be used to change DNA in prostate cancer cells taken from patients. Then, the researchers can see which genetic changes help DDAs kill cancer, and which changes stop DDAs from working. ProCASP should be better than other techniques used for growing human prostate cells outside the body as it captures more of the complexity of human cancer than other tools used to study cancer in the lab.

This research will help us find patterns in DNA that can be used to identify patients who will benefit from DDA treatment, could help us discover brand new ways of treating prostate cancer, and ProCASP will keep the tools used in the lab directly relevant to patients.

Dr Harveer Dev in his laboratory

 

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