Professor Charlotte Bevan

TUF Scholar: Charlotte Bevan, Professor of Cancer Biology at Imperial College London

Year of Funding: 2015

The Urology Foundation Research

Charlotte received funding from TUF and the John Black Foundation to research new ways of treating advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer growth is driven by testosterone, which works though androgen receptors. A standard way of treating this growth is using anti-androgens, but these have a limited span of usefulness and once the prostate cancer stops responding to antiandrogens, the cancer reaches its most lethal stage.

There are occasionally findings of new anti-androgen drugs that can add a few months to a person’s life, but people will always become resistant to them.

Charlotte and her team are looking at new ways of inhibiting androgen receptors, and the related nuclear receptors that often pick up where androgen receptors leave off. They are focussing on cofactors, “accessory” proteins that assist androgen receptors and related nuclear receptors, and in particular a family of TRIM proteins. By using cell lines, biopsy tissue, and large data sets from the USA and the UK, Charlotte’s team has been able to test TRIM proteins so that now they are ready to begin pre-clinical testing.

Charlotte is hopeful that this will lead to clinical trials and, eventually, a new treatment for prostate cancer that slows down, halts, or even reverses therapy resistant prostate cancer.

What Charlotte says, 

“TUF funding has been really valuable and came along just at the right time. TUF have a very flexible attitude to working with their researchers and are always very responsive. It’s been a wholly positive experience to work with them.

“Thanks to their funding, apart from the scientific progress there are also other advantages to the research community in the UK. The post-doctoral researcher, Damien Leach, who has been undertaking the lab research for this project is now in a position to apply for fellowship and become an independent researcher. This is really promising as he has blossomed throughout this research process. TUF is really investing in the next generation of talented scientists through researchers like Damien. (NAME?).

“As for myself, TUF’s funding of this research has expanded my horizons, enabling me to work with large computational datasets and expand my research network, both in the UK and abroad, in a really valuable way.”

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