Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Academic Health Center
Masonic Cancer Center
PI: Scott M. Dehm
Androgen Receptor and Prostate Cancer Progression
Research in the Dehm laboratory focuses on the role of the androgen receptor (AR) in prostate cancer development and progression. The AR is a steroid hormone receptor transcription factor important for normal prostate function as well as the growth of prostate cancer. Because of the central importance of the AR in prostate cancer, the mainstay treatment for relapsed or metastatic disease is androgen depletion. The primary limitation of androgen depletion is that prostate cancer will eventually develop therapy resistance and recur with a lethal androgen depletion-independent phenotype. A wealth of clinical and experimental evidence has demonstrated that the AR is aberrantly re-activated at this stage of the disease and therefore remains a viable therapeutic target. This laboratory employs molecular, biochemical, cell biology, and genetic approaches to understand the mechanisms of AR transcriptional regulation in cell- and xenograft-based models of prostate cancer progression. The researchers have identified alternative mechanisms of AR activation that are impervious to current modes of androgen depletion, and are studying whether these mechanisms of AR activation can be exploited to develop novel targeted therapies for advanced prostate cancer.