A novel class of drugs interrupts critical signaling needed for prostate cancer
cells to grow, U.S. researchers say.
Senior author Dr. Ganesh Raj, associate professor of urology at the University
of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues found they could
disrupt androgen receptor signaling using a novel class of drugs called
This therapeutic agent consists of an engineered small protein-like chain
designed to mimic peptides that are critical for androgen receptor function.
The peptidomimetic agents block the activity of the androgen receptor even in
the presence of androgen by attacking the protein in a different spot from where
the androgen binds, Raj said.
"We are hopeful that this novel class of drugs will shut down androgen receptor
signaling and lead to added options and increased longevity for men with
advanced prostate cancer," Raj said in a statement.
Raj compared the action to a lock and key. In prostate cancer, the androgen
receptor -- lock -- is activated by the androgen -- key -- resulting in a signal
that causes prostate cancer proliferation.
The findings were published online in Nature Communications.