Engineering a High-Throughput Prostate Cancer Stem Cell Niche Mimic

Metastatic prostate cancer stem cells (cancer-initiating cells) appear to mimic many of the behaviours normally associated with haematopoietic stem cells (HSC). These cells appear to migrate preferentially to the bone marrow in response to signals normally associated with HSC homing. Prostate cancer stem cells can then hijack HSC bone marrow niches, parasitizing the molecular signals that normally regulate HSC maintenance. This is particularly problematic from a treatment perspective as the stem cell niche signal milieu maintains prostate cancer stem cells in a quiescent state, and this in turn appears to enable prostate cancer stem cells to hide from the immune system and evade chemotherapy.

The ability to study this complex biological relationship, and to rapidly develop/test therapeutics to overcome this often fatal disease, is hampered by the lack of a functional in vitro model of prostate cancer stem cells and the bone marrow niche. Through this PCFA New Concept Grant, Dr Mike Doran's team will translate their extensive work on the development of HSC bone marrow niches to the development of a prostate cancer stem cell niche model – a ‘microniche’.


Michael Doran APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI
Karen Chambers APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI
Judith Clements APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI

Associate Investigators

Pamela Russell APCRC-Q, IHBI, QUT, TRI


2013 - 2014


Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia – New Concept Grant $275 000

Upcoming Events

Jul 19, 2020 - Jul 21, 2020 ANZUP 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting
Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia
Aug 18, 2020 - Aug 21, 2020 PA Hospital Health Symposium
Russell Strong Auditorium, Princess Alexandra Hospital, 199 Ipswich Rd, Woolloongabba
Aug 21, 2020 - Aug 23, 2020 21st Asia-Pacific Prostate Cancer Conference
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Victoria
Sep 29, 2020 - Oct 02, 2020 ComBio 2020
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Victoria
Nov 11, 2020 - Nov 13, 2020 COSA Annual Scientific Meeting
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Queensland