Mitochondrial reprogramming heads stem cell expansion and castration-resistance in prostate cancer – New grant awarded to Prof. Carlo Catapano

New grant awarded by the Swiss Cancer League to the Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapeutics Group headed by the IOR Director Prof. Carlo Catapano.

The 3-year project aims at exploring the role of mitochondria in prostate cancer progression and resistance to current therapies.

Project details

Project ID: KLS-4899-08-2019

PI: Carlo Catapano

Project title: Mitochondrial dynamics at the crossroad between stemness and treatment resistance in prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignancy and leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men worldwide. Emergence of resistance to treatments like hormonal therapy and chemotherapy is very common in the advanced stages of prostate cancer. Tumor cells capable of self-renewal and continuous expansion, termed cancer stem cells (CSCs), sustain both metastatic progression and treatment resistance. The project will explore the role of mitochondrial reprogramming and metabolic plasticity in preserving long-term survival and self-renewal capability of CSCs in prostate cancer. Mitochondria dynamics, which relies on constant shuffling between cycles of organelle fusion and fission, maintains mitochondrial homeostasis, shapes the intracellular mitochondrial network and has an essential role in promoting expansion of prostate CSCs. The proposed studies will fill a relevant knowledge gap in CSC biology and will provide novel insights for developing innovative CSC-directed therapies.