Scientists win crucial cancer research grant

Researchers from the University of Sheffield have received two grants, totalling £600,000, from leading men's health charity, Prostate Cancer UK, to explore new ways to stop the spread of prostate cancer and prevent the disease from growing back after primary treatment.

The grants have been awarded as part of the charity’s £2.7 million Research Innovation Awards scheme which encourages researchers to develop forward thinking, ambitious research proposals which challenge the status quo.

The first study, which is being led by Dr Ning Wang, will test whether various types of exercise can stop prostate cancer cells from moving into and growing in the bones using preclinical models. The second study will investigate whether changing the behaviour of a type of white blood cell in prostate tumours could prevent the disease from growing back after primary treatment, and so postpone or prevent the need for surgery.

Dr Wang said: “When prostate cancer spreads it will more often than not go to the bones. This is not only extremely painful, it can be incredibly hard to treat. We know that exercise benefits bone health which we think could have the potential to prevent cancer cells from setting up camp in the bones.”

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the disease kills one man every 45 minutes in the UK.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK said; “The need for research into prostate cancer is greater than ever. With an ever-increasing ageing population, the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer is growing at a tremendous rate. In fact, the disease is on target to become the most common cancer overall by 2030.”