Hillary Sanatkumar Shah
Mentor: Gnanasekar Munirathinam, PhD
The American Cancer Society estimates that 191,930 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year, with the disease causing 33,330 deaths, making it the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.
Existing treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy and immunotherapy. These treatment options show effects in the beginning stages, but ultimately resistance develops in the majority of patients. Therefore, effective treatments for prostate cancer are urgently needed. Ferroptocide (FTC) is a novel small molecule that displays potent tumor suppressive effects in a variety of cancer models. However, the anticancer effects of FTC against prostate cancer are not yet known. In this study, Shah and her colleagues have evaluated the potential anti-prostate cancer effects of FTC using an LNCaP PCa cellular model.
Results from the research have shown that FTC potently inhibits the cell viability of LNCaP cells via elevating ROS, mitochondrial superoxide and lipid peroxidation levels. Specifically, FTC reduces mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and induces mitophagy, leading to apoptotic cell death. The hypothesis concludes that ferroptocide would be an effective anticancer agent against prostate cancer cells.
“I am excited to receive this award from the UI Cancer Center. I would like to thank the faculty judges and patient advocates for their time reviewing and selecting our work for the poster award. I truly feel honored to receive this award. It was a great learning experience in participating in this year’s virtual UI Cancer Center symposium. As a student researcher in the Medical Biotechnology program at the UIC College of Medicine-Rockford, I feel accomplished that my work could contribute to the future development of a novel treatment for prostate cancer patients.
“I want to thank my mentor, Dr. Gnanasekar Munirathinam, and our collaborator, Dr. Paul Hergenrother, for the opportunity to work on this study. I am grateful to my colleagues in the UIC Molecular Oncology Lab in the Department of Biomedical Science for being part of this research work and for their constant support and encouragement. Also, receiving this award will help build my career in translational oncology and contribute to society as a cancer researcher.”
Hillary Sanatkumar Shah