Dr Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic

Dr Tatjana Crnogorac-Jurcevic

MD, PhD
Centre: Molecular Oncology
Reader in Cancer Genomics
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We study molecular pathology of cancer development and progression and are developing urine biomarkers for early, non-invasive detection of pancreatic cancer.

Research Details

PDAC has been deemed a ‘silent killer’, as it is asymptomatic at an early stage; more then 80 per cent of patients therefore present with already disseminated disease, when curative surgery is not possible any more. Current treatments for such patients are largely inefficient, and their median survival is only 3-6 months. Overall five-year survival for pancreatic cancer patients is less than 5 per cent.

The translational research in my laboratory follows two conceptual approaches and aims:

1) to develop a non-invasive test for early detection of PDAC in high-risk population. This is based on thorough understanding of developmental biology of this malignancy through analysis of the most common precursor lesions, PanINs, as they are a key source of potential early disease markers (PLOS One, 2013).

At the same time, search for diagnostic biomarkers is also being undertaken through in depth analysis of easily obtainable biofluid, urine (Proteom Clin Appl, 2008). We have recently described a panel of three protein biomarkers that are able to distinguish stage I-II PDAC patients from healthy people (Clin Cancer Res, 2015), and are planning to validate this finding further within a clinical trial in high-risk groups.

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2) to develop novel therapies for metastatic disease. This is based on uncovering invasive signatures through molecular analyses of lymph node and liver metastases (J Pathol, 2012; Clin Exp Metastasis, 2013) and perineural invasion (manuscript in preparation).

Two proteins, S100P and AGR2, which are expressed in >80% of primary tumours and their metastases and facilitate dissemination of pancreatic cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo (J Pathol 2003; Cancer Res, 2007; Cancer Res, 2011; Clin Exp Metastasis, 2013), have already been selected as promising targets. In parallel, we are also continuing to study the biological functions of these two proteins.


We believe that both of these approaches will make a true impact on survival of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Profile

I obtained the MBBS degree and completed an MD thesis at the Medical Faculty, University of Zagreb in Croatia, and my PhD at the Imperial College School of Medicine in London. After a postdoctoral experience in molecular biology at CNRS in Toulouse, France and molecular oncology at CRUK laboratory at Hammersmith Hospital, London, I joined Barts Cancer Institute in November 2004.

In addition to research, my teaching responsibilities include Problem Based Learning (PBL) and Student Selective Component (SSC) for undergraduate students. I am Module Leader for Genomic Approaches to Cancer on the MSc Molecular Pathology and Genomics course and MSc Cancer & Clinical Oncology and MSc Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology courses. 

In 2006 I was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) and became a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2009.

Funding

  • CR-UK (Cancer Research UK)
  • PCRF (Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund)
  • Queen Mary Innovation Ltd.
  • Pancreatic Cancer Action (PCA)
  • LAP (Liver and Pancreas Charity)
  • AICR (now Worldwide Cancer Research)
  • Barts and The London Charity
  • Rosetrees Trust

Key Publications

Radon TP, Massat NJ, Jones R, Alrawashdeh W, Dumartin L, Ennis D, Duffy SW,  Kocher HM, Pereira SP, Guarner  L(posthumous), Murta-Nascimento C, Real FX,  Malats N, Neoptolemos J, Costello E, Greenhalf W, Lemoine NR, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T. Identification of a three-biomarker panel in urine for early detection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2015, 21(15);3512–21. PMID: 26240291

Debernardi S, Massat NJ, Radon TP, Sangaralingam A, Banissi A, Ennis DP, Dowe T, Chelala C, Pereira SP, Kocher HM, Young BD, Bond-Smith G, Hutchins R, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T. Noninvasive urinary miRNA biomarkers for early detection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Am J Cancer Res. 2015 Oct 15;5(11):3455-66. PMID: 26807325

Gomez-Rubio P, Zock JP, Rava M, Marquez M, Sharp L, Hidalgo M, Carrato A, Ilzarbe L, Michalski C, Molero X, Farré A, Perea J, Greenhalf W, O'Rorke M, Tardón A, Gress T, Barberà V, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T, Domínguez-Muñoz E, Muñoz-Bellvís L, Alvarez-Urturi C, Balcells J, Barneo L, Costello E, Guillén-Ponce C, Kleeff J, Kong B, Lawlor R, Löhr M, Mora J, Murray L, O'Driscoll D, Peláez P, Poves I, Scarpa A, Real FX, Malats N; PanGenEU Study Investigators. Reduced risk of pancreatic cancer associated with asthma and nasal allergies. Gut. 2015 Dec 1. pii: gutjnl-2015-310442. PMID: 26628509

Crnogorac-Jurcevic T, Chelala C, Barry S, Harada T, Bhakta V, Lattimore S, Jurcevic S, Bronner M, Lemoine NR, Brentnall TA. Molecular analysis of precursor lesions in familial pancreatic cancer. PLOS One. 2013; PMID: 23372777


Further Publications

For additional publications, please click here.


We study molecular pathology of cancer development and progression and are developing urine biomarkers for early, non-invasive detection of pancreatic cancer.

External Activities

Member of:

  • Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland,
  • British and European Association of Cancer Research (BACR and EACR),
  • American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)
  • LOGO COSTAmerican Pancreatic Association (APA)
  • EU Pancreas COST Action 

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador

Editorial Board of:

  • World Journal of Gastroenterology
  • Open Pathology Journal
  • Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research
  • Journal of American Cancer Research

News

Research Technician opportunity available soon - check our vacancies page

  • April 2016: Speaker at the Association of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine Focus meeting, University of Warwick
  • February 2016: Speaker at the World Cancer Day 2016 event, Valletta, Malta
  • October 2015: Speaker at the ITU MBG Student Congress, Istanbul, Turkey
  • August 2015: Media coverage of the manuscript describing three-biomarker panel for early pancreatic cancer detection
  • June 2014: Co-organizer (with Prof Colin Johnson) and the speaker at the Basic Science Workshop at EPC/IAP Meeting 2014 (European Pancreatic Club/International Association of Pancreatology)
  • September 2013: Speaker at the Urinomics 2013, 1st International Conference on Urine Omics, Caparica, Portugal

Patents

  • WO2005062055A2 (with Prof N. Lemoine): “Methods for detecting neoplasia and markers thereof.”
  • No 10001596.5 – 2404/ US 2013/0045884 with Drs C. Schroder and J. Hoheisel, University of Heidelberg, Germany: “Means and methods for diagnosing pancreatic cancer”.
  • No 1501930.0 (with T.P. Radon): “Biomarkers for pancreatic cancer” 

See other researchers working on:

Metastasis and Invasion Pancreas
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