A clearer view into prostate cancer with new imaging tool

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The new method used to detect androgen receptors and active splice variants could mean better and faster care for patients suffering from prostate cancer.

As the most prevalent cancer among men, prostate cancer is mainly treated through androgen receptors. However, similar to the flu, the disease progresses and builds up a resistance and grows into a castration-resistant form of cancer.

Finding a way to fight the cancers resistance, researchers at the University of British Columbia led by Marianne Sadar set out to develop a method to identify patients that have the androgen receptor variants and determine the best method of treatment. Researchers were able to develop a new imaging tool, capable of detecting the androgen receptor and its active splice variants as well as developing a sister-drug that can bind to the androgen receptor and vary forms of the receptor.

In a study conducted on mice, using SPECT/CT imaging, researchers were able to detect prostate cancer cells that had the androgen receptor. Further research is needed to improve the imaging technique so it can detect the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer.