Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Targeting Fatty Acid Transporter to Prevent Disease Progression in Prostate Cancer

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Monday, March 11, 2019

Preventing fatty acid uptake may prove to be an effective method in the treatment of prostate cancer, according to research published in Science Translational Medicine. Renea A. Taylor, PhD, of Monash University in Australia, and colleagues sought to determine how the alteration of cancer metabolism and the fatty acid transporter CD36 can be used to prevent disease progression.

“We provided preclinical evidence that targeting the metabolic differences in fatty acid metabolism between tumor and normal cells might be an effective anticancer strategy and that CD36 might be a pharmacological target for early treatment in high-risk localized prostate cancer,” concluded the authors.

The investigators took samples of both benign and malignant tissues from patients with prostate cancer and analyzed the fuel each type seemed to prefer for cell growth. Although benign cells were found to rely primarily on sugar glucose, malignant cells took in fatty acids, increasing tumor growth. Prostate cancer cells relied on translocase CD36, typically associated with aggressive cancers, to move the fatty acids past their cell walls.

To mediate the fatty acid uptake by malignant tissues, researchers deleted the transporter, which slowed development of disease progression by 30% to 50%, compared with malignant samples, which retained CD36. To investigate how a targeted therapy might work, researchers created antibodies that bind to CD36 and prevent it from functioning. Organoids treated with this therapy showed a 90% reduction in growth as well as a halt to communication between lipids and the malignant cells. In trials with mice, removal or inhibition of the transporter also reduced the severity of disease.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at

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