Prostate Cancer: Annihilation
Ishana Lodhia
Heritage Woods Secondary
Floor Location : S 010 H

One in seven North American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa) during their lifetime. Treating prostate cancer has centered on targeting androgen receptors which drives cancer progression. Although this treatment offers significant survival benefits, 25% of patients relapse to more aggressive neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). NEPC has a median survival of ~ 7 months post diagnosis, and the only available treatment currently is platinum-based chemotherapy which is toxic to patients.

This science project focused on testing a new therapy that targets a protein called BRN2 which plays an important role in the development of NEPC. Different prostate cancer cell lines were treated with varying doses of the BRN2 inhibiting compound and the standard of care chemotherapy, Cisplatin. We hypothesized that the NEPC cell line (42D) would respond to both BRN2 inhibitory compound and chemotherapy, while the normal prostate cancer cell line (16D) would only respond to Cisplatin. The experimental results not only supported the hypothesis, but also revealed that the NEPC cell line is more sensitive to BRN2 inhibitor than to Cisplatin, experiencing faster cell death at a lower dose. The data shows that using targeted therapy, such as BRN2 inhibitor may be a safer treatment option for NEPC patients than chemotherapy; cells not expressing BRN2 remain unaffected, allowing healthy cells to carry out their function for the patient’s recovery.