Combination of DHA and HDACIs in treating Prostate Cancer

Tech ID:

The disclosed invention is a proposed combination therapy to treat prostate cancer, especially prostate cancer patients with biochemical recurrence (BCR). The combination therapy is composed of UTH1, a fatty acid compound with Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status, and Valproic Acid (VPA), a generic drug with clinical use since 1963 as a mood stabilizer and anti-epileptic.


In North America, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in men and the fourth most common cancer. In fact, prostate cancer eventually kills 25% of men diagnosed with it. Serum Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) level is the primary measure used to indicate the presence, continuation, or recurrence of prostate cancer. PSA is a protein produced by the prostate and high levels often indicate the presence of prostate cancer.


This resurgence in PSA levels after radical treatment is known as biochemical recurrence (BCR). BCR can be indicative of the cancer relapsing. In this situation, PSA doubling time is an important metric for determining the course of action. Typically, the only course of action in BCR patients with troublesome PSA doubling time results is Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). ADT is the medicinal or surgical reduction of androgen (i.e. testosterone) production. ADT often loses its effectiveness and results in a recurrence of the cancer that is hormone refractory. It is the aim of the disclosed technology to treat patients with biochemical recurrence prior to requiring ADT. The inventors’ preliminary data shows that the disclosed therapy can decrease tumor cell survival and decrease tumor growth.


The inventors have verified the anti-cancer effects of VPA alone in human cancer patients. The enhanced anti-cancer effects of the combination therapy of UTH1 and VPA has been verified in vitro in prostate cell cancer lines and in xenografted mouse models. The mouse study was funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award for Pilot Projects grant from the UT Health SA Institute of Integration for Medicine & Science.

The inventors have received an IND from the FDA for the use of VPA in treating BCR prostate cancer patients. UTH1 has GRAS status and will not require separate regulatory approval. The inventors plan to conduct another clinical study using the combination of UTH1 and VPA. The inventors are looking for a partner in UTH1/VPA formulation and development studies.

For information contact:
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Wasim Chowdhury
Ronald Rodriguez
Md Rahman
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