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Prostate & Breast Cancer - Maria Prencipe

Maria Prencipe - Prostate & Breast Cancer

Maria Prencipe

Name: Dr Maria Prencipe

Job Title/Professional Qualifications: SFI starting investigator

Role within PVCR (if applicable): Member of the communication sub-committee

Research keywords: Targeted therapy, prostate cancer, breast cancer

Current research projects: Targeting co-regulators of the androgen receptor as a novel therapeutic approach for prostate and breast cancer

Contact details:
• Email: (opens in a new window)maria.prencipe@ucd.ie
• Twitter: @mprencip
• ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8864-1560
• Web profile: (opens in a new window)https://people.ucd.ie/maria.prencipe/about

Highlight Publication: Watson RW, Azam H, Aura C, Russell N, McCormack J, Corey E, Morrissey C, Crown J, Gallagher WM, Prencipe M. Inhibition of Serum Response Factor Improves Response to Enzalutamide in Prostate Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2020 Nov 27;12(12):3540.

Despite the improvement in the treatment options for prostate cancer patients, we still lack effective treatments when the cancer has spread outside the prostate. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop new therapies that will work better in this setting. Our study has identified one central factor, the serum response factor (SRF), which controls many genes associated with prostate cancer development. We have shown that an SRF inhibitor can stop the cancer cells from dividing and surviving. When this inhibitor is used in combination with current treatments, these are more effective in killing cancer cells. We also confirmed the relevance of SRF to patients by looking at its abundance in prostate cancer tissues from patients. We showed that patients who did not respond to current treatments had significantly higher levels of SRF. We are currently investigating SRF inhibitor mechanisms and hope that these drugs will soon be available to patients.

What is the significance of this publication?
Advanced prostate cancer is challenging to treat with the androgen receptor (AR) the main target and key focus of resistance. Understanding the mechanisms of AR interaction with its co-regulators will identify new therapeutic targets to overcome AR resistance mechanisms. These findings add a significant contribution to the field of advanced prostate cancer treatment, offering alternative ways of targeting AR and new therapeutic options to patients who do not respond to current treatments.