Pre-clinical research and the Luc Furic Lab

The Luc Furic lab, also known as the Translational Prostate Cancer Research lab, aims to better understanding prostate cancer biology to develop novel therapies

One-in-seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer (PC) in their lifetime and PC related deaths are >3000 per year in Australia. Despite approaches such as surgical removal of the prostate, radiation therapy and androgen deprivation, many patients develop advanced cancers, which inevitably acquire resistance to castration levels of testosterone; this most aggressive state is referred to as castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In an increasing subset of PC patients, androgen receptor (AR)-targeted treatment selection pressure leads to the emergence of CRPC with neuroendocrine features. Indeed, the prognosis of patients with neuroendocrine differentiated prostate cancer (NEPC) is poor due to inherent resistance to conventional AR-directed therapies. Consequently, new therapeutic strategies for CRPC, and especially NEPC, are critical to improve patient outcomes, and will likely require combination therapies to better target tumour heterogeneity. The research priorities of the Luc Furic lab are: 

  • Identification and validation of novel “theranostic” targets to image and treat prostate cancer 

  • Targeting tumour heterogeneity in prostate cancer through inhibition of “housekeeping” cellular functions with a focus on mRNA translation machinery 

  • Identification of novel combination therapy with emphasis on protein synthesis and/or ribosome biogenesis inhibition 

  • Identification of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) biomarkers of treatment response and disease progression

Current projects at the Furic Lab

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