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Patients help researchers advance prostate cancer treatments

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Monash University researchers have created one of the world’s largest collections of live tumors from prostate cancer patients, accelerating testing of new treatments for prostate cancer and resulting in greater benefit. fast for patients.

One of the most common cancers, prostate cancer is also one of the most difficult to study in the laboratory, with frequently used models derived more than 40 years ago. With the establishment of the Melbourne Urological Research Alliance (MURAL), hundreds of Victorian men generously donated samples of their cancerous tissue, allowing the team to study a wider variety of living tumors and test the effectiveness of a wider variety of therapies for their ability to stop tumor growth.

The PDX collection (patient-derived xenografts), developed by a multidisciplinary consortium and directed by Professor Gail Risbridger and Associate Professor Renea Taylor at the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI), now includes 59 tumors, collected from 30 patients between 2012 and 2020, and is now one of the largest collections of prostate cancer models in the world.

The full characterization of the PDX collection is published in Nature Communications.

MURAL PDXs are a sustainable resource of novel cancer models that can be shared with other academic researchers or pharmaceutical companies. Patients and their families are directly integrated into this endeavor, including the EJ Whitten Foundation which has played a pivotal role over the past 10 years by providing over $ 1 million in donations allowing this resource to be developed and on the agenda of being at the forefront of the international community. field.

“This project begins and ends with patients like EJ Whitten. We take tissue from patients – perform lab tests – and the findings then advance the treatment of patients, ”said Professor Risbridger. “Our new models of prostate cancer have aroused the interest of scientists and the pharmaceutical industry around the world.”

Ted Whitten, Executive Director and Founder of the EJWhitten Foundation, congratulates the Monash University Biomedicine Discovery Institute for its recent findings in prostate cancer research. “We believe Monash University is a leader in prostate cancer research and we are delighted to have been able to financially support many of their important programs over the past ten years.”

Dr Mitchell Lawrence, also of Monash BDI and lead author, says: “This resource provides an opportunity to link molecular changes in prostate cancer to pathology, to cultivate organoids and to test functional responses to therapies, which have rarely been applied to prostate cancer. the lack of suitable models.

The success of this program is based on collaboration between scientists and clinicians such as surgeons and oncologists at Monash, the Cabrini Institute and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center, as well as patients and their families who generously donate cancer tissue. Other organizations that have supported the PDX program include the Victorian Cancer Agency, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and Movember.

Read the full article in Nature Communications titled: MURAL Collection of Xenografts Derived from Prostate Cancer Patients Enables Discovery Through Preclinical Models of Uro-Oncology.DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-021-25175-5

About the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University

Committed to making the discoveries that will ease the future burden of disease, the new Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University brings together more than 120 internationally renowned research teams. Covering six discovery programs in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, developmental and stem cells, infections and immunity, metabolism, diabetes and obesity and neuroscience, Monash BDI is one from Australia’s largest biomedical research institutes. Our researchers are backed by world-class technology and infrastructure and partner with industry, clinicians and researchers internationally to improve lives through discovery.

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