Centenary’s prostate cancer research makes headlines

Jeff Holst, Head of Origins of Cancer Group

Dr Jeff Holst, Head of Origins of Cancer Group

Jeff Holst’s discovery of a potential future treatment for prostate cancer grabbed the news headlines recently. ABC News Breakfast ran the story in its morning show, and both Channel Ten and ABC ran prominent stories in their news bulletins.

The research, published in Cancer Research, combined with Jeff’s efforts to raise funds for prostate cancer research by growing a Mo for Movember, grabbed plenty of attention.

Jeff and the Origins of Cancer team at Centenary have shown that cutting off the food supply to prostate cancer starves the tumour cells of an essential nutrient they need to grow rapidly. The research, with human cells grown in the lab, reveals targets for drugs that could slow the progress of early and late stage prostate cancer.

Growing cells need an essential nutrient, the amino acid called leucine, which is pumped into the cell by specialised proteins. And this could be prostate cancer’s weak link.

The team found that prostate cancer cells have more pumps than normal. This allows the cancer cells to take in more leucine and outgrow normal cells.

This is the fifth year that Jeff has participated in Movember to raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and his team of MoBros raised $3560. He is the recipient of a Movember Young Investigator grant which funds his research.

View the press release here.

The Young Centenary committee welcomed Jeff at their recent meeting as they discussed their exciting plans for 2012.  He joins the group as a representative of Centenary researchers.

View Jeff’s complete publications here, view his profile at The University of Sydney, search available listings on PubMed or contact Jeff.