HIV drug stops prostate cancer from spreading to bones

2 December 2014

Although prostate cancer carries a good prognosis when caught early, once the disease has spread to bone it can become lethal. However, a drug, commonly used to treat HIV, could prevent this metastasis.

A new study, published in the journal Cancer Research, found that the HIV-related receptor CCR5 could also play a role in driving the spread of prostate cancer to the bone. 

Dr Richard Pestell, director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University and senior author on the study, said as the drug is already approved for use in HIV treatment, it could be in testing for prostate cancer soon.

Previous research from Dr Pestell found CCR5 signalling was key in breast cancer being able to spread, so the team investigated whether it could influence prostate cancer.

The researchers analysed the genes of the metastasised bone and brain tumours and found those driving cancer were also key in the CCR5 signalling pathway. They then administered the CCR5-blocking drug maraviroc to their new prostate cancer model and found it was able to reduce the overall metastatic load by 60 per cent in the bone, brain and other organs.

Posted by Philip Briggs​

 

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