More funding to support prostate cancer research at UWindsor

AM800-News-John Trant-University of Windsor

A biochemistry professor at the University of Windsor is getting a funding boost to continue his research to help improve the way that prostate cancer is diagnosed.

The Cancer Research Society, a registered charity that raises money for Canadian cancer research, has announced $120,000 over two-years to support the work by Dr. John Trant.

He's developing imaging agents to help oncologists distinguish between different types of prostate cancer and offer better, quicker, and cheaper diagnoses than current imaging techniques.

Trant is developing a pair of probes that attach themselves to a specific protein associated with prostate cancer, allowing doctors to distinguish between a prostate cancer that is hormone sensitive and prostate cancer that has become resistant to treatment.

He says it means they could identify it sooner.

"Right now the identification is generally that the cancer is spreading. The tumour is growing, the cancer is no longer responding. By the time the tumour is growing, the problems have already increased," says Trant. "So what we want to do is figure it out before the tumour starts growing. Just when it's starting to change, when it's starting to mutate, when it's starting to become a problem, we can try to catch this early. The earlier we can change treatments and adjust therapies, the better the outcome for patients."

The agents being developed would be detected under near-infrared light during colonoscopies.

Trant says it would let doctors see and determine how the prostate cancer is developing, which would be a lot more convenient for everybody.

"What's real useful there, we're not needing to book those expensive PET, MRI, CAT scan machines, it can be very hard to get access to those. This can just be done in a normal doctor's office," he adds.