PhD defense for Stefan J. Barfeld
M.Sc. Stefan Jörg Barfeld at the Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway and the Department of Biosciences, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences will be defending the thesis The transcriptional role of c-Myc in prostate cancer for the degree of PhD. The event will take place on October 23, Kristine Bonnevie Building at 13:15.
The trial lecture entitled "Cancer Immunotherapy - strategies, mechanisms and challenges" takes place on October 23 at 10:15, Nucleus, Bikuben, Kristine Bonnevie Building.
Every year, about 4,000 men die as a result of prostate cancer in Norway alone. Decades of research have improved detection and treatment options but nonetheless, prostate cancer often remains a fatal disease. Dysregulation of the androgen receptor, a testosterone-binding protein that controls cell proliferation, has been identified as the main cause and driver of the disease. However, a range of other proteins have been shown to play vital roles in prostate cancer. Amongst these, c-Myc is a factor that has been extensively studied in various cancers, especially lymphomas. Surprisingly, the contribution of c-Myc to prostate cancer development and androgen receptor activity has not been thoroughly examined yet.
In his PhD work, Stefan J. Barfeld identified c-Myc to be the driver of a variety of supporting metabolic pathways in prostate cancer, including purine de novo biosynthesis. This pathway is crucial for rapidly dividing cancer cells, which need large quantities of purines to sustain proliferation. Notably, disrupting this pathway slowed cancer cell growth and induced a cellular stress response.
Moreover, the impact of elevated c-Myc levels on androgen receptor activity was examined. Strikingly, c-Myc overexpression dysregulated androgen receptor activity and suppressed a range of well-established androgen receptor targets. These findings have potential implications for future prostate cancer patients as they provide novel insights into the molecular basics of the disease, which could offer treatment alternatives to current therapies.
More information about the disputation, the adjunct committee as well as supervisors is available here.