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Continuing the fight

Queen’s researcher Madhuri Koti receives funding from the Movember Foundation for research in prostate cancer.

Queen’s University professor Madhuri Koti (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Biomedical and Molecular Sciences and Obstetrics and Gynecology) has received a $198,000 Movember Discovery Grant for continued research into prostate cancer. She is one of 13 successful candidates from across Canada to receive the funding.

The research project, conducted in collaboration with Dr. David Robert Siemens (Department of Urology) and Dr. Charles Graham (Biomedical and Molecular Sciences) at Queen’s, will explore the role of the PTEN gene in modulating the anti-tumour immunity in prostate cancer and what therapies can be developed to improve patient survival using this new knowledge.

“Loss of PTEN is commonly seen in more aggressive forms of prostate tumours that have a higher chance of recurrence after treatment,” says Dr. Koti. “Findings from this study will facilitate precision therapeutics in more aggressive prostate cancer.”

Initial studies on this project, on tumour specimens from a cohort of 286 prostate cancer patients, were conducted in collaboration with Drs. Fred Saad and Anne-Marie Mes-Masson at the University of Montreal.

In Canada, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in men and represents 24 per cent of all cancer cases. Prostate cancer imposes a huge health care burden globally with over $12 billion spent annually in North America and a much larger projected increase by 2020.

The funding supports junior investigators in the early stages of their career and more established investigators that may be taking their research in new directions. The grants represent an investment of $2,270,968 over two years.

“This funding support from the Movember foundation through Prostate Cancer Canada will have a significant impact on our efforts to establish and advance translational research in the area of immunotherapies that are emerging as a common denominator in cancer treatment,” says Dr. Koti. “The Movember Foundation is critical in advancing these research goals.”

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