On Oct 27th, 2023, Duke Pathology Chair Jiaoti Huang, MD, PhD, delivered a lecture at the 30th Annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Scientific Retreat in Carlsbad, CA, titled “Glypican-3 (GPC3) as a Novel Therapeutic Target of Prostate Cancer.” This invitation-only conference is the foremost scientific conference in the world on the biology and treatment of prostate cancer.
Huang shared his lab’s work using transcriptomic and metabolomic approaches to discover novel biomarkers and therapy targets of prostate cancer, with a focus particularly on neuroendocrine cells - a cell type that doesn’t express androgen receptor and is resistant to currently available therapies.
His lab recently discovered that GPC3 – a protein encoded by the GPC3 gene and located on a chromosome - specifically is expressed on the surface of neuroendocrine cells and is a highly valuable therapeutic target. Neuroendocrine cells receive signals from the nervous system and respond by making and releasing hormones. Unlike most other targets, GPC3 is an oncofetal protein, a type of protein that originates in tumor cells and enters the bloodstream either by secretion from the tumor or as a breakdown product of tumor cells. GPC3 isn’t expressed in normal tissue and, as a result, targeting it causes little or no undesired side effects.
Huang further shared his vision of how to develop therapeutic modalities to target GPC3 to benefit the large number of advanced prostate cancer patients who have exhausted available treatment options. Read more about the Huang Lab’s research here.