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Prostate Cancer Research Group

Our internationally-recognised research is tackling advanced 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 that either prevent the synthesis of, or 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. They bind to the androgen receptor (AR) protein which mediates their effects in prostate cells. 

Drugs that target AR pathways are initially effective, but patients eventually relapse and progress to an incurable stage of the disease. A confounding issue with prostate cancer treatment is the unreliable nature of the standard Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test for monitoring how tumours respond to prostate cancer drugs. 

The Prostate Cancer Research Group is focused on targeting androgen signalling in prostate cancer, discovering innovative biomarkers of response to treatment, and developing new preclinical models of disease that more closely represent the individual’s response to prostate cancer. Our research aims to develop robust diagnostic tests to better assess prostate cancer development, biomarkers to monitor progression and response to treatment with existing prostate cancer drugs, and new drugs undergoing clinical development.

Lead researcher: Associate Professor Lisa Butler

Research team

Research support
  • Maurene Giles
  • Joanna Gillis
  • Mohammadhossein Hassanshahi
  • Swati Irani
  • Natalie Ryan
  • Jessica Savage


  • Garvan Institute, New South Wales
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Sydney 
  • University of Leuven, Germany

Interested in undertaking a postgraduate research degree with us?

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.