BOSTON--Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine Professor of Periodontology and Oral Biology Philip Trackman was awarded an "Idea Award" grant from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.
The three-year grant, "The Lysyl Oxidase Propeptide as an Inhibitor of Prostate to Bone Metastasis," began May 1 and totals more than $600,000.
Trackman and his team will study the effect of the lysyl oxidase propeptide on growth factor-receptor interactions between bone cells and cancer cells. It is known that cancer cells and bone cells secrete factors that stimulate one another to grow at a rapid rate causing cancer to metastasize to bone.
Trackman and his team hypothesize that the lysyl oxidase propeptide will interfere with the factor-receptor interactions, and/or growth factor signaling by other mechanisms, thus preventing prostate cancer cells from metastasizing to bone.
"Cancer to bone metastasis occurs at a high frequency in prostate cancer patients," said Trackman. "Bone cancer is difficult to treat. Bones become weak and the patient's quality of life is greatly diminished due to poor mobility, increased fracture susceptibility, and the pain they experience. Finding ways to prevent metastasis to bone would clearly benefit cancer patients."
Trackman serves as the principal investigator of this grant, Boston University School of Medicine Professor of Biochemistry Gail Sonenshein and BUSM Professor of Orthopedic Surgery Louis Gerstenfeld serve as consultants on this project, and BUGSDM Research Assistant Professor Amitha Palamakumbura serves as co-investigator.
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