Project Description

Prostate cancer is known to metastasize to the bone and to vary in its progression and prognosis between races. Kobe University’s international joint research project ‘Establishing an Asian Network to develop a novel treatment for prostate cancer’ started in 2022 with the aim of establishing a new treatment for Asian patients. Bone metastatic prostate cancers are generally treated by targeting male hormones but they often gain resistance to the endocrine therapy that suppresses male hormones. Therefore, the project strives to develop an alternative treatment focused on the cell-cell adhesion factor (A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease 9: ADAM9) between bone metastatic cancer and normal cells.

Targeting ADAM9 and s-ADAM9, the project proposed the following model of prostate cancer bone metastasis;

Step-1: ADAM9 loosens the adhesion of prostate cancer cells to surrounding cells,
Step-2: Enters the blood and becomes soluble s-ADAM9, and
Step-3: Forms metastasis while reaching the bone and coexisting with bone cells.

The novel international approach established through this project can be applied not only in oncology, but also in studies of other diseases, such as infectious diseases, as well as medical device development. In this context, the project will promote industry-academia-government collaboration and interdisciplinary research between engineering and pharmacology.

The project also aims to foster the next generation of researchers who will play a central role in prostate cancer research through their activities with the international research network.



Comments from the Project Leader

Professor SHIGEMURA Katsumi (Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Health Sciences)

Professor SHIGEMURA Katsumi (Graduate School of Health Sciences)

My laboratory promotes research collaboration with overseas research institutions for cancer studies, infectious diseases, and medical device development.

Since I am also a surgeon, I provide surgical support and teaching exchange with collaborators. My ultimate goal is ‘research-oriented international exchange for the next generation.’ My laboratory is actively collaborating with overseas universities in relation to cancer, infectious diseases, and medical device development.


International Collaboration

The project leader, Professor SHIGEMURA (associate professor of the Graduate School of Health Sciences), has been conducting joint research on public health studies with Taipei Medical University (TMU) for over ten years. Expanding upon Prof. SHIGEMURA’s international research activities, the project aims to establish an international database of Asian patients and to develop guidelines for Asian patients with prostate cancer. The planned collaborative activities have the following three features:

1) Joint research using both Japanese and Taiwanese patient samples
2) Short term staff exchange within the network
3) Organizing international academic events including monthly online seminar series and onsite seminars in Kobe and Taiwan

Moreover, the project seeks research collaborators through academic events to expand the research network for prostate cancer studies in Asia.

Research collaborators from Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia) and Emory University (U.S.A) will join these activities to create research synergies and expand the project’s network.

Information on related research facilities