New treatment for tough-to-treat prostate cancer.

New treatment for tough-to-treat prostate cancer.

A Potential Breakthrough in Prostate Cancer Treatment


Prostate cancer is a debilitating disease that affects millions of men around the world. It is a complex type of cancer with unique characteristics and resistance mechanisms that have posed significant challenges for effective treatment. However, a recent preclinical study conducted by researchers at the University of Miami offers new hope for men with treatment-resistant prostate cancer.

Typically, chemotherapy drugs like cisplatin have not been effective in treating prostate cancer. However, the researchers in this study used a compound called Platin-L to disrupt the metabolism of prostate cancer cells and increase the effectiveness of cisplatin. This innovative approach aims to directly target treatment-resistant cancer cells and provide a potential therapy option for men with advanced prostate cancer.

One of the key differences between prostate cancer and other cancers is the metabolic pathway it utilizes. While most cancers turn glucose into energy to support their growth and spread, prostate cancer alters enzymes to derive energy from fat instead of sugar, a process known as fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Platin-L targets a protein called CPT1A, which plays a crucial role in this FAO process.

By targeting CPT1A, Platin-L forces prostate cancer cells to choose a less favorable metabolic pathway, making it difficult for them to survive. This approach effectively robs the cancer cells of their energy source, leading to the destruction of the cancer cells. The researchers validated their findings in human prostate cancer biopsies and tested the treatment in both human cancer cells and a mouse model of prostate cancer, confirming its safety and effectiveness in shrinking tumors.

The unique aspect of this new therapy lies in its mode of administration. The researchers encapsulated Platin-L in nanoparticles that target a protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), which enabled oral delivery of the drug. This approach helps minimize side effects in other parts of the body and reduces the risk of kidney and liver toxicity, as well as peripheral nerve damage.

In their study, the researchers observed promising results. Tumors in the mouse models shrank, the treated mice maintained steady body weight, and survival rates improved. These positive outcomes provide hope for future clinical trials and development of this therapy.

The potential benefits of this therapy extend beyond prostate cancer. The researchers believe that by understanding the mechanistic investigations of this dual-targeted nanoparticle approach, it could be applied to other cancer types where similar cellular pathways can be altered.

The study, published in ACS Central Science, a journal of the American Chemical Society, signifies a breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment. The combination of Platin-L and cisplatin, along with its targeted delivery system, offers new possibilities for improving outcomes and quality of life for men with advanced prostate cancer.


More information

For more information about prostate cancer, visit the Urology Care Foundation.


University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, news release, July 12, 2023.