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Latest updates from the lab

Developing a new drug - A totally new approach to therapy

In late 2016, the team working on this programme made a huge breakthrough in solving the crystal structure of the cancer-causing gene LMTK3. This essential step towards drug development was achieved earlier than anticipated. Now various experiments are underway in order for this result to be scientifically proven. Results from this work are expected within 2017.

Understanding the Cancer Brain

In striving to understand the cancer brain, a small team is working to design and build analytical tools to examine enormous amounts of data and variables. Termed high throughput experimentation, this means that rather than carrying out single tests one after another, many can be run simultaneously. This should lead to promising results more quickly, and at less cost. Our team is analysing proteins, enzymes and aspects of genetics.

Cancer Stem Cells - Getting to the Root of the Problem

Since discovering two specific molecules that are linked to cancer stem cell formation in pancreatic cancer, this team has been working to identify the pathways of the molecules and the genes that they target. The next step is to examine the levels of these molecules in large numbers of specimens from the pancreatic cancer biobank.

Targeting the Guardian of the Genome

As part of this programme, the team has published a paper that shows for the first time, how the tumour protein p53 affects molecules with relevance to:

  • The process of how normal cells turn into cancer cells.
  • How the tumour responds to DNA-damaging agents.
  • The co-ordination of cells response to chemotherapy.

The team are now using this knowledge to try and improve treatment for ovarian cancer patients. Read more.