(financed by the Rudolf Becker Foundation) at the Biomedical Center (BMZ) University of Bonn Medical Center
Bone metastases in hormone depletion independent prostate cancer is the most important cause of death in patients with adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Published and preliminary data from our lab demonstrate that the transmembrane protein neuropilin-2 is involved in the formation of bone metastases as well as therapy resistance. In close collaboration with the Datta lab at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and cooperation partners at Mayo Clinic Foundation, we have already shown that neuropilin-2 induces stress and therapy resistance in prostate cancer by regulating autophagy and mTOR signaling. Indeed, its expression correlates with disease outcome in different types of cancer like prostate, bladder and pancreatic cancer. Neuropilin-2 is a predictive marker for therapy resistance in bladder cancer. Preliminary data from our lab suggest an important role of neuropilin-2 in homing and colonization of the bone as the most important metastatic site of prostate cancer.
Targeting the immune systems is an important avenue in the therapy of cancer in future. Several studies indicate a high expression of neuropilin-2 in tumor-associated immune cell subset. In cooperation with our American colleagues, we showed that macrophage-derived neuropilin-2 is important for disease progression by regulating a process called efferocytosis.
Taking together all these data, targeting neuropilin-2 might be an important strategy to combat cancer. Indeed, we are currently developing ways to utilize neuropilin-2 for detection and therapy of cancer.
Additionally, we are investigating new candidates with the same potential as biomarkers and future targets of therapy by executing next generation sequencing methodology like RNA sequencing of human tissue in cooperation with our partners in nuclear medicine, urology, oncology, and radiation biology. To validate the potential of these candidates, we will use genetically engineered mouse models to model cancer initiation, progression, and therapy.
Prof. Dr. Michael Muders
The Rudolf-Becker-Foundation was established in 2003 by testamentary decree of Mister Rudolf Becker to support translational prostate cancer research.
Bases on our research we gathered some interesting links that you are welcome to check out.