The Role of the ECM in Lung Cancer Dormancy and Outgrowth
We are pleased to report that our recent in depth review on the role of the extracellular matrix (ECM) in Lung cancer, both in primary and metastatic settings has just been published as part of a special edition on ‘Revisiting Seed and Soil: A New Approach to Target Hibernating Dormant Tumor Cells‘ in Frontiers in Oncology: Molecular and Cellular Oncology.
Plasma polymerized nanoparticles effectively deliver dual siRNA and drug therapy in vivo
We are delighted to have been part of an exciting study looking into the potential of a new class of multifunctional nanocarrier to deliver dual siRNA and drug therapy to breast tumours which was recently published in Scientific Reports.
The work was led by our collaborators Miguel Santos and Steven Wise from the Applied Materials Group at the University of Sydney who pioneered the development of these novel multifunctional nanocarriers.
As with any new lab (M&M turned 3 a couple of months ago 🎉), the first few years are typically about building a reliable team to help a new PI lay the foundations for establishing a functioning (and hopefully successful) research laboratory. The actual hiring process is incredibly stressful for new PI’s, often agonising for days over their first few hires. A bad hire when starting out can really set you back when the lab is in a fledgling state. At the same time, the inevitable moving on of good hires can be equally as hard…
Cancer Metastasis: The Role of the Extracellular Matrix and the Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycan Perlecan
Our recent review paper in collaboration with colleagues in Sydney and Melbourne on the role of the ECM and in particular the Heparan Sulphate Proteoglycan, Perlecan, in cancer and cancer metastasis, has just been published in Frontiers in Oncology.
I am delighted to share the news that our two wonderful Honours Students for 2019, Yordanos Setargew and Shivanjali Ratnaseelan have both been awarded First Class Honours from the School of Medical Sciences at UNSW Sydney. Yordanos for her project on “Targeting lysyl oxidase driven fibrosis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma via copper inhibition” and Shivanjali for her project on the “Role of Extracellular Matrix Stiffness on Tumor Cell Response to Therapy”
Targeting the lysyl oxidases in tumour desmoplasia
Our recent review discussing the importance, and also the therapeutic potential of inhibiting the lysyl oxidase (LOX) family of enzymes as a stromal targeting therapy has just been published in Biochemical Society Transactions.
I’m delighted to announce that Elysse from the Matrix and Metastasis Team has just been awarded the St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation K&A Collins Cancer Research Award.
The St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation was established in 1992 to further the educational and research objectives of St Vincent’s Clinic and the surrounding precinct. The Foundation provides much-needed seed funding towards real research projects for real people including medical, basic and multidisciplinary research. The Awards are given to support bright young researchers who can put their research into real-world practise to improve patient care and health outcomes for the community.
The award which was announced at the annual Sandra David Oration, will give Elysse the opportunity (and $50,000 of seed funding) to further her novel work to find new and effective treatments for breast cancer to improve the clinical care and outcomes for patients.
We are seeking a full-time dedicated Research Assistant (RA) to come work with us. The group combines the use of 3D models of cancer with novel state-of-the-art imaging approaches to reveal how the extracellular matrix (ECM) drives cancer progression and metastasis. Our mission is to establish targeting of the extracellular matrix as a viable therapeutic approach in the treatment of solid cancers.
This is an exciting time for the Matrix and Metastasis team as we have been collaborating closely with Pharmaxis recently in developing a pre-clinical portfolio to help build a case for potentially transitioning this compound through to a clinical trial in pancreatic cancer patients. Pharmaxis is already seeking to progress this compound in the myelofibrosis space, and so working with our team, we are exploring the potential for this exciting anti-fibrotic compound in other cancer settings.
CAF hierarchy driven by pancreatic cancer cell p53-status creates a pro-metastatic and chemoresistant environment via perlecan
We are super excited to announce that our recent work in close collaboration with A/Prof Paul Timpson has just been published in Nature Communications (view the full Open-Access article here)
In this work (which was a large international collaboration), co-led by our team and Paul Timpson’s team (also at the Garvan Institute), we show that remodeling of the stromal tissue in and around pancreatic tumours may be the key to stopping their spread and improving chemotherapy outcomes.
What we did
We already know that tumours are made up of heterogenous populations of cancer cells with different mutational landscapes. Furthermore, recently, the field has begun to realise that the cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) present in and around the tumour are also a diverse collection of subpopulations.