Choose the cancer you want to beat through MyProjects

MyProjects is an exciting new way to support our research into different types of cancer. Simply choose the cancer you want to beat, and directly donate to a project in that area. And you can set up a Giving Group to raise money with friends, family or colleagues too.

In a new series of blog posts, we’ll be highlighting some of the researchers featured in MyProjects, starting with an important and urgently-needed project aimed at beating drug-resistant prostate cancer.

The dark side of testosterone

The sex hormone testosterone plays many roles in our bodies. It helps make men into men, pumps up our libidos, and can even counteract osteoporosis. But it also has a dark side – testosterone can help fuel the growth of prostate cancer, the most common cancer in UK men.

Because of this, prostate cancer is often treated with drugs that stop testosterone working, preventing the cancer cells from growing. But unfortunately, this effect often wears off after years or even months, as the cancers develop resistance. It’s then known as hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC), and is much more difficult to treat successfully.

Cancer Research UK-funded researcher Professor Simon Mackay is determined to change the odds for men with hormone-refractory prostate cancer. As part of our drug discovery initiative, his team is tackling this challenge by searching for ‘smart drugs’ that exploit subtle molecular differences that distinguish cancer cells from their healthy counterparts.

The scientists, based at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, are tapping into a wide range of sources to find molecules that could become the prostate cancer drugs of the future, including purifying promising chemicals from plants. Then they’re developing the best candidates further for testing in future clinical trials.

Here’s a short video about their work:

Link to transcript

You can find out more about Professor Mackay’s research – as well as directly donating towards it – on our MyProjects site.