New research out of the United States points to a genetic anomaly in certain men with prostate cancer, which may impact their response to common drugs used to treat the disease.
Researchers found that abiraterone, a common prostate cancer drug, yields high levels of a testosterone-like byproduct in men with advanced disease who have a specific genetic variant.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr Nima Sharifi, who is based at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, previously discovered that men with aggressive prostate cancer who have a specific variant in the HSD3B1 gene have poorer outcomes than patients without the variant. HSD3B1 encodes an enzyme that allows cancer cells to use adrenal androgens for fuel. This enzyme is overactive in patients with the variant HSD3B1(1245C).
Sharifi and his team in the Department of Cancer Biology, including first author, Dr Mohammad Alyamani, found that men with the genetic anomaly metabolise abiraterone differently