Publication: Established Models and New Paradigms for Hypoxia-Driven Cancer-Associated Bone Disease

Thomas R. Cox, Jan 2018

Established Models and New Paradigms for Hypoxia-Driven Cancer-Associated Bone Disease

Our new review on the how hypoxia is important in cancer-associated bone disease has just been published in Calcified Tissue International.

Established Models and New Paradigms for Hypoxia-Driven Cancer-Associated Bone Disease

What is Hypoxia and why is it important in cancer?

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Publication: The interplay between extracellular matrix remodelling and kinase signalling in cancer progression and metastasis

Thomas R. Cox, Jan 2018

The interplay between extracellular matrix remodelling and kinase signalling in cancer progression and metastasis.

Our recent review discussing the role of the extracellular matrix as a critical regulator of intracellular kinase signalling has just been published in Cell Adhesion & Migration

Extracellular_Matrix_Governs_Kinase_Signalling

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People: Welcome to Elysse

Thomas R. Cox, Jan 2018

The Matrix and Metastasis team is excited to be shortly welcoming Elysse Filipe

Elysse FilipeElysse recently completed her Ph.D. at the Heart Research Institute (HRI) in Sydney in the Applied Materials laboratory of Dr Steve Wise.

As a biomedical engineer Elysse is interested in developing tools and systems to study the importance of the tumour microenvironment, and in particular the extracellular matrix (ECM) in tumour progression.

Elysse’s work will focus on the importance of the biomechanical properties of the ECM in Breast Cancer onset and progression.

Publication: Three-dimensional organotypic matrices from alternative collagen sources as pre-clinical models for cell biology

Thomas R. Cox, Dec 2017

Three-dimensional organotypic matrices from alternative collagen sources as pre-clinical models for cell biology

Our new paper on alternative collagen sources for 3D organotypic cultures for use as pre-clinical models is now out in Scientific Reports

Collaroo: 3D Organotypic matrices for cancer biology

Cellular interactions with the extracellular matrix (ECM) occur in a three-dimensional (3D) context and this essential aspect of the tumour microenvironment can lead to altered sensitivity to therapeutics and even act as a barrier to their delivery. This key feature is often overlooked in pre-clinical studies and is likely one of the central factors contributing to the high attrition rates of lead compounds within the pharmaceutical industry. This organotypic platform allows assessment of lead compounds in both the stromal compartment or in a 3D co-culture setting using large scale collagen preparations from alternative sources.

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People: Jessica joins M&M

Thomas R. Cox, Dec 2017

Jessica Chitty (Matrix and Metastasis Lab)I’m delighted to announce that Jessica Chitty will shortly be joining the lab as a postdoctoral research fellow. Jessica has just completed her Ph.D at the University of Queensland and is making the move south to join our team.

Having completed a degree in Biochemistry in the UK, and her Ph.D in Australia, Jessica brings experience in investigating the translational repurposing of key anti-cancer/antimycotic targets, along with significant expertise in enzyme biochemistry and molecular biology in the context of rational drug design, focusing towards translational research.

Jessica will focus her work on our ongoing interest into the lysyl oxidase family of enzymes and their role in pancreatic cancer.

Funding: Susan G. Komen® Career Catalyst Research Grant

Susan G Komen logoThomas R. Cox, Sep 2017

We’re delighted to announce the we have been awarded a research grant from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the world’s leading breast cancer organisation.

The grant will support a project investigating how stiffness in breast tissue can drive the aggressive behaviour of cancer cells, and how tissue stiffness impacts on the effectiveness of breast cancer treatments

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People: PostDoc position available to start late 2017

Thomas R. Cox, Aug 2017

Matrix and Metastasis Lab Hiring

We are seeking a full-time dedicated PostDoc to work in the Cancer Division Matrix & Metastasis Group headed by Dr. Thomas Cox.  The group combines the use of 3D models of cancer with novel state-of-the-art imaging approaches to reveal how the extracellular matrix 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.

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Matrix: Dissolved – ABC Radio Network Health Report

ABC Radio National LogoThomas R. Cox, Jul 2017

I was recently invited to chat with Norman Swan on ABC Radio National’s Health report about some of the recent work we have been doing on the Extracellular Matrix in cancer.

The extracellular matrix or the matrix is the web- or mesh-like structure that encases the cells in the tissues and organs of our body.

ISDoT - Decellularised Extracellular Matrix

Image: Mayorca-Guiliani AE, Madsen CD, Cox TR et al. Nature Medicine (2017)

We recently developed a new technique which dissolves the cells from tumours to leave behind this matrix, allowing us to study it in unprecedented detail – and we discuss the potential of these research outcomes. Continue reading

Publication: ISDoT – in situ decellularization of tissues for high-resolution imaging and proteomic analysis of native extracellular matrix

Thomas R. Cox, Jun 2017

“We’re seeing things we’ve never seen before”: groundbreaking new technique sheds light on the ‘matrix’ surrounding our cells

Our most recent research  has just been published in Nature Medicine.

In our  paper we describe a new and intuitive new way to dissolve cells from tissues, leaving behind the extracellular matrix (ECM) or ‘matrix’.

The matrix is made up of 100’s of differing building blocks and surrounds the cells in our body. It is incredibly important in the progression and spread of cancer – but up until now it has been notoriously difficult to study in detail.

ISDoT - Decellularised Extracellular Matrix

Image: Mayorca-Guiliani AE, Madsen CD, Cox TR et al. Nature Medicine (2017)

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Publication: Transient tissue priming via ROCK inhibition uncouples pancreatic cancer progression, sensitivity to chemotherapy, and metastasis

Thomas R. Cox, Apr 2017

ROCK-ing pancreatic cancer to the core

Our new paper on short-term pulsed treatment, or ‘priming’ as a treatment strategy to boost chemotherapy has just been published in Science Translational Medicine.

Transient tissue priming via ROCK inhibition uncouples pancreatic cancer progression, sensitivity to chemotherapy, and metastasis

The research, spearheaded by Dr. Paul Timpson and Dr. Marina Pajic here at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, has uncovered a promising new approach to treating pancreatic cancer. By targeting the tissue surrounding the tumour to make it ‘softer’, it leads to tumours being more responsive to chemotherapy.

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Publication: Pre-metastatic niches: organ-specific homes for metastases

Thomas R. Cox, Mar 2017

Pre-metastatic niches: organ-specific homes for metastases

Our new review on the importance of the pre-metastatic niche (PMN) in cancer has just been published in Nature Reviews Cancer. It summarises the natural progression of pre-metastatic niche formation and evolution, highlighting recent advances and future hurdles.

Premetastatic niches (Nature Reviews Cancer)

What is the pre-metastatic niche (PMN)?

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People: M&M welcomes Joanna Skhinas

Thomas R. Cox, Jan 2017

We are delighted to welcome our newest member, Joanna Skhinas, to the Matrix and Metastasis lab here at the Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Garvan Institute.

Matrix & Metastasis - Joanna SkhinasJoanna joins us as a research assistant having recently completed her Honours degree at the University of New South Wales. Joanna will work on our recently awarded NHMRC grant to understand more about how the stiffness of the extracellular matrix affects cancer progression and response to therapy.

Through joining our team, Joanna can pursue her “interest in cancer biology, in particular the interactions between cancer cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix, and the ECMs role in metastasis”