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

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has been deemed a ‘silent killer’, as it is asymptomatic at an early stage; more than 80% 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%.

We have therefore set ourselves a goal of making a difference for pancreatic cancer patients. We are developing a non-invasive test for early detection of PDAC; it is based on a thorough understanding of developmental biology of this malignancy, stemming from analysis of the most common precursor lesions, PanINs, as a key source of potential early disease markers (PLOS One, 2013).

At the same time, the search for novel 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 can detect stage I-II PDAC with >90% accuracy (Clin Cancer Res, 2015), and are planning to validate this finding further within a large prospective clinical study on people at risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

See more:

In addition to proteins, we have also profiled miRNAs (Am J Cancer Res, 2015) and volatile organic compounds in urine (Gastroenterology, In press), with a final goal to develop a highly accurate, multiomics-based ‘combo’, non-invasive test. Early detection of pancreatic cancer, we believe, will make a true impact on currently exceptionally poor prognosis of pancreatic cancer patients.

We are also interested in understanding the roles of two proteins, AGR2 and S100P, in pancreatic cancer. Both of these proteins are highly expressed in PanINs, primary PDACs and metastatic lesions, and also 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; Oncogene, 2017), and are therefore potentially promising therapeutic targets.

Finally, we have recently started studying EOPC – early onset pancreatic cancer, in order to decipher why this subgroup of patients is developing PDAC when they are around 20 years younger than the ‘classical’ PDAC patient population. Epidemiology and pathobiology of this poorly studied patient group is ongoing.

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, a core module on the MSc/PGDip Cancer & Molecular Pathology and Genomics, MSc/PGDip Cancer & Molecular and Cellular Biology and MSc/PGDip Cancer & Therapeutics 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

  • PCRF (Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund)
  • CR-UK (Cancer Research UK)
  • 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

Arasaradnam R, Wicaksono A, O’Brien H, Kocher HM, Covington JA, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T. Non-invasive Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer Through Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds in Urine. Gastroenterology (2017); In press

Wang J, Dumartin L, Mafficini A, Ulug P, Sangaralingam A, Alamiry NA, Radon TP, Salvia R, Lawlor RT, Lemoine NR, Scarpa A, Chelala C, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T. Splice variants as novel targets in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Sci Rep. (2017) Jun 7;7(1): 2980. PMID: 28592875

Dumartin L, Alrawashdeh W, Trabulo SM, Radon TP, Steiger K, Feakins RM, Di Magliano MP, Heeschen C, Esposito I, Lemoine NR, Crnogorac-Jurcevic T. ER stress protein AGR2 precedes and is involved in the regulation of pancreatic cancer initiation. Oncogene (2017) Jun 1;36(22):3094-3103. PMID: 27941872

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


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)
  • American Pancreatic Association (APA)
  • EU Pancreas COST Action
  • Member of Pancreatic Cancer Europe

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Ambassador

News

  • January 2018: The Conversation “New test can detect eight types of cancer in a drop of blood” provides my commentary on CancerSEEK.
  • November 2017: participant at the AACR conference “New Horizons in Cancer Research: Research Propelling Cancer Prevention and Cures”, Shanghai
  • September 2017: Speaker at the Urinomics 2017, 3rd International Conference on Urine Omics, Caparica, Portugal
  • March 2017: Speaker at the Canary Foundation Early Detection Symposium, Stanford University
  • February 2017: The Conversation covers a collaborative work on S100P in pancreatic cancer with University of Hertfordshire
  • September 2016: Participant at the Forte Medical meeting, Royal Society of Medicine, London
  • August 2016: Mr Harrison O’Brien joins us as a Research technician.
  • Speaker at the 2016 London Pancreas Workshop
  • 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 (Science Daily, The Guardian, BBC News)
  • 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
  • For a video describing the urine biomarker project, click here.
  • Find out about pancreatic cancer research at BCI in our virtual lab tour
  • See us at the Joint Pancreas Meeting

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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