Publications

Uncovering the evolutionary history of IBD-associated colorectal cancer

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 11 July 2018

Uncovering the evolutionary history of IBD-associated colorectal cancer

A team of researchers from the BCI, led by Prof Trevor Graham, Lead of the Evolution and Cancer Biology Laboratory, have reported the genetic events involved in the early development of bowel cancer in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Such knowledge may be able to be exploited to design simple diagnostic tests to stratify patients with IBD at high risk of developing cancer.

IBD more than doubles an individual’s lifetime risk of developing bowel cancer, and the risk increases significantly if they have suffered with IBD for a sustained period of time. With this in mind, the study published today in Gut- performed in collaboration with researchers from St Mark’s Hospital, led by Prof Ailsa Hart, and the University of Oxford, led by Prof Simon Leedham- set out to understand the genetics of how CRC develops in people with IBD.

Research explainer: Mis-segregation of human chromosomes

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 13 June 2018

Research explainer: Mis-segregation of human chromosomes

Dr Sarah McClelland from Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, has recently published new research in the journal Cell Reports revealing new insights into why cell division can sometimes go wrong.

In this Q & A, she explains why chromosomes can end up in the wrong places when dividing and highlights two particular chromosomes that seem to be more prone to the issue than others.

Research suggests improved detection rates are needed to maximise cancer prevention

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 08 June 2018

Research suggests improved detection rates are needed to maximise cancer prevention

Current detection strategies are found to have identified only 2.6% of the BRCA gene mutation carriers in the Greater London population, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Medical genetics. The findings of the study, performed by researchers from the BCI’s Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, led by Dr Ranjit Manchanda, suggest that enhanced and new approaches are required to maximise the opportunity for breast and ovarian cancer prevention.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are associated with an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. A recent study has shown that about 72 and 69% of women who inherit a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, respectively, develop breast cancer by 80 years of age. Additionally, 44 and 17% of women who inherit a harmful mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, respectively, develop ovarian cancer by 80 years of age. Identifying mutation carriers is therefore critical to reduce the number of BRCA-associated cancers.

Forecasting the evolution of cancer

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 28 May 2018

Predicting the trajectory of tumour growth

Forecasting the evolution of cancer

New research, published today in Nature Genetics, has developed a computer model that forecasts the changes that occur within tumours as they develop. In the future, it is hoped that such a model may enable the prediction of the trajectory of tumour growth in patients, allowing clinicians to pre-empt disease course and tailor treatment regimens accordingly.

The model was developed in collaboration with researchers from BCI’s Centre for Tumour Biology, led by Prof Trevor Graham (Lead for the Evolutionary and Cancer Biology Laboratory), the Institute of Cancer Research, led by Dr Andrea Sottoriva, and University College London, led by Dr Chris Barnes.

Research reveals how breast cancer drug can accelerate cancer cell growth

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 01 May 2018

Research reveals how breast cancer drug can accelerate cancer cell growth

The breast cancer drug lapatinib which is designed to shrink tumours can sometimes cause them to grow in the lab, according to a new study published in eLife. By understanding the molecular basis of this phenomenon, scientists hope that their findings will lead to safer treatment options and drug design in the future.

Lapatinib is used in combination with other cancer drugs and chemotherapy to treat patients with a particular type of advanced breast cancer, but failed clinical trials as a stand-alone treatment.

Using a modified adenovirus to overcome treatment resistance in prostate cancer

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 27 April 2018

Using a modified adenovirus to overcome treatment resistance in prostate cancer

Researchers from BCI’s Centre for Molecular Oncology, led by Dr Gunnel Halldén, have identified a mechanism by which a modified flu-like virus, called AdDD, is able to negate resistance to a drug called mitoxantrone and increase tumour cell killing in prostate cancer models. This mechanism is dependent on B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)- a protein involved in the regulation of cell death (apoptosis).

Recent statistics have shown that prostate cancer is now the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, claiming the life of one man every 45 minutes. Here at the BCI, prostate cancer is a key focus of research and our researchers endeavour to identify factors that influence prostate cancer progression and therapeutic response.

BCI and KCL collaboration develops a clinically-relevant CAR T cell imaging system

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 19 April 2018

BCI and KCL collaboration develops a clinically-relevant CAR T cell imaging system

A collaboration involving researchers from BCI’s Centre for Molecular Oncology, led by Dr Jane Sosabowski, and the ImmunoEngineering Group of King’s College London (KCL), led by Dr Sophie Papa, has developed an effective and clinically-relevant imaging system to monitor chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells within the body. This system reduced the tumour burden in a pre-clinical model of prostate cancer and allowed for repeated and non-invasive assessment of CAR T cell localisation.

Determining the mechanisms of response and resistance to treatment in bladder cancer

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 29 March 2018

Improving the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors

Determining the mechanisms of response and resistance to treatment in bladder cancer

A worldwide collaboration involving BCI’s Prof Thomas Powles, Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, has revealed mechanisms involved in the development of response and resistance to an immune checkpoint inhibitor in metastatic urothelial cancer. The findings may highlight ways to improve the efficacy of this treatment in the hope of achieving long-term remission for patients.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors, a class of immunotherapeutic drug, have been shown to induce robust responses in patients with a variety of cancer types. These drugs block proteins that prevent the immune system from destroying cancer cells.

Follicular lymphoma marked by spatial tumour heterogeneity

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 23 March 2018

A challenge for targeted therapy

Follicular lymphoma marked by spatial tumour heterogeneity

A research team at the BCI, Queen Mary University of London, led by Dr Jessica Okosun, Centre for Haemato-Oncology, has found that tumours at different sites within the same patient with follicular lymphoma can be genetically diverse. This suggests that a sole biopsy is incapable of capturing all the genetic events in any given individual and presents a significant challenge when providing targeted therapies to treat this disease.

Follicular lymphoma is an incurable blood cancer that is characterised by the production of abnormal B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell involved in fighting infection) that accumulate primarily in the lymph nodes and bone marrow. Approximately 2,300 cases of follicular lymphoma are diagnosed in the UK each year.

Switching on survival signalling to drive drug resistance

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 27 February 2018

Resistance to receptor tyrosine kinase-targeted therapies

Switching on survival signalling to drive drug resistance

Researchers at the Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), Queen Mary University of London, led by Dr Richard Grose, Centre for Tumour Biology, have discovered that the loss of a single protein- PHLDA1- is sufficient for the development of drug resistance to a type of targeted therapy in endometrial and HER2-positive breast cancer cells.

Drugs that target specific pathways in cancer cells- so called targeted therapies- offer promising clinical benefits for cancer patients, with less severe side effects compared with more conventional chemotherapy agents. However, drug resistance- whereby cancer cells find ways to evade the effects of these drugs over time- limits the long-term clinical efficacy of these treatments.

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