Prostate Cancer Research Group (SAHMRI)
Our internationally-recognised research is tackling localised and metastatic prostate cancer by developing more robust diagnostics tests, biomarkers for responsiveness to current treatments and new drugs for clinical development.
Prostate cancer is a major public health issue, killing approximately 3,300 men in Australia annually. While early stage cancers can be treated with surgery, advanced and metastatic cancers are treated with drugs which block the actions of male hormones, known as androgens. Androgens, such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone, are critical for normal prostate development and for the growth of prostate cancers. While drugs which target androgen pathways in prostate cancer cells are initially effective, patients eventually relapse and progress to an incurable stage of the disease. More research is needed to improve outcomes for prostate cancer patients.
Our research aims to not only determine the effectiveness of new drugs undergoing clinical development but also to develop robust diagnostic tests to better predict cancer behaviour and assess response to treatment with existing and new prostate cancer drugs. A major focus of these efforts is the lipid metabolic pathway which our group is trying to better understand and exploit to improve outcomes for men with prostate cancer.
To achieve this, we have developed a unique patient-derived explant (PDE) model, which improves the clinical relevance of our data, and increases the likelihood that our research findings will quickly translate to clinical practice.
Read the latest news below.
Professor Lisa Butler
Professor Lisa Butler is a Cancer Council Principal Research Fellow in the Adelaide Medical School at the University of Adelaide, and heads the Prostate Cancer Research Group at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). A major focus of her research program during the past five years has been the development of preclinical models that more closely represent the individual responses in men with prostate cancer.
Research team Role Professor Lisa Butler Group leader Dr Maggie Centenera Researcher Dr Chui Yan (Shanice) Mah Researcher Dr Zeyad Nassar Researcher Dr Raj Shrestha Visiting researcher (Flinders) Maud Giles Research support Joanna Gillis Research support Cassandra Gordon Research support Madison Helm Research support Swati Irani Research support Dr Samira Khabbazi Research support Anzu Okada Research support Natalie Ryan Research support Dr Joanna Sundstrom Research support Elizabeth Collis - PhD candidate Student Josephine Hinneh - PhD candidate Student Joshua Hodgson - PhD candidate Student Deanna Miller - MPhil candidate Student Julia Scott - PhD candidate Student Jacob Truong - PhD candidate Student An Dieu Trang Nguyen - Honours candidate Student
- Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, New South Wales
- Olivia Newton John Cancer Research Institute, Victoria
- South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute
- University of Leuven, Belgium
- University of New South Wales
- University of Sydney
- University of South Australia
- Weill Cornell Medicine, USA
- Lipids and Prostate Cancer
Related areas of research
A research team led by the University of Adelaide will investigate how prostate cancer cells survive and reappear after drug treatment.Read more about Project investigates new approach to combat prostate cancer
Zeyad Nassar has also been awarded funding from Cure Cancer Australia for 2019.Read more about Cure Cancer Australia Funding for Zeyad Nassar
Maggie Centenera and Zeyad Nassar have both been successful in the latest round of funding from the University of Adelaide Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences Emerging Leadership Mentored Development Program.Read more about Funding for Maggie Centenera and Zeyad Nassar
We are pleased to announce that our Lipids and Prostate Cancer program, funded by Movember and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, has been extended for a further 2 years until the end of 2020.
Lisa Butler is part of a team that has been awarded $2.5 million in funding from the Australian Cancer Research Foundation for the Centre for Integrated Cancer Systems Biology.
Xander Spotbeen from KU Leuven in Belgium returned to our laboratory for a 3 week visit during November and December.
Final year Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) student Suraiya Onesha has joined our group for 6 weeks over the Summer period to hone her technical and research skills.
Originally from Ghana, Josephine commenced her PhD with us in March following completion of her Masters at Mie University in Japan.
This year we again joined forces with our collaborators around Australia to raise money for Movember, who fund our Lipids and Prostate Cancer program.
Terence Tieu, PhD student at Monash University in the laboratory of our collaborator Prof Nico Voelcker, visited the Prostate Cancer Research Group at SAHMRI for 2 weeks in November.
The PCRG has a new newsletter, which can be downloaded at the link below.
In October, Lisa Butler travelled to the “Mechanisms to Therapies: Innovations in Cancer Metabolism” Conference in Bilbao, Spain. Here she presented not one but two posters on our work in lipid metabolism in prostate cancer.
Dr Maggie Centenera, Prof Lisa Butler and Ms Natalie Ryan, together with our colleagues at the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Prof Peter Sutherland from South Terrace Urology and our collaborators from the USA and UK have just published an important paper on an explant model of prostate cancer in the journal Molecular Oncology.
We offer exciting opportunities for researchers at the honours, masters and PhD levels. Our research degrees are open to students from a broad range of backgrounds, and range from basic sciences to clinical research. If you are interested in human health, consider furthering your research career with us.