The anatomy department lecturer and prostate cancer researcher and her team are about to begin human trials to test breakthrough treatment for men with aggressive prostate cancer.
The findings, which are being collated for publication, are the byproduct of three years of research out of Gold’s medical sciences department lab.
“If we can get really good quality end-stage therapies then there is absolutely no reason that a man need die of it, Gold said.
One in 10 New Zealand men develop prostate cancer and more than 550 die every year.
That’s more than the road toll,” Gold said.
“It’s a biggie. It’s a noble goal but that’s the big picture stuff that we work with.”
The Otago results were exciting, turning up some “very good indications”, Gold said.
“For example, we work on a factor, protein, increased in prostate cancer, specifically increased in the aggressive form [of prostate cancer], not the early stages.
“When we block that, when we knock it down in cell lines [cells taken from the prostate and grown in the laboratory] we alter the growth characteristics of those cell lines.
“We can alter the characteristics of those cells by modulating the expressions of these proteins and what that’s doing is, it’s making the cells appear more like normal cells.”
Human trials would be conducted over the next couple of years, she said.
“We would hope to be in a situation in two to three year