PI Seminar Series
Speaker: Professor Penny Lovat, Professor of Cellular Dermatology and Oncology
Venue: Baddiley Clark Seminar Room
Date: 23rd May 2016
Professor Penny Lovat will present:
‘Harnessing deregulated cellular signalling for stratified medicine, novel biomarkers and precision based therapeutics for melanoma’
Cutaneous melanoma is an ever increasing global health problem, resulting in over 2000 deaths from metastatic disease annually in the UK alone. Despite initial success with specific therapies targeting the BRAF protein kinase and downstream pro-survival MAPK signalling and the introduction of novel immunotherapies, there are still however, no consistently beneficial treatments for metastatic disease, emphasising the acute need for credible biomarkers able to identify high risk tumour sub groups and refine the risk of disease progression as well as novel precision based therapies to improve patient survival.
Work in my lab is focussed towards the understanding of key cellular processes that govern cellular homeostasis, their deregulation in melanoma and how these can be harnessed to define novel biomarkers as well as drug targets in order to stratify patients with metastatic disease for more effective therapy.
Through the understanding of key mechanisms regulating the unfolded protein response, autophagy, apoptosis and chemotaxis and their interplay, we have defined over the last 5 years or so, a number of novel prognostic biomarkers (eg p62, CXCR4), drug targets (eg XIAP), and targeted therapeutic approaches (eg using cytotoxic autophagy-inducing cannabinoid derivatives) for cutaneous melanoma. As well as reviewing recently published key autophagy biomarker and therapeutic strategies, novel data defining companion biomarkers able to stratify particular high risk tumour melanoma subgroups for novel adjuvant TGFβ pathway-specific targeted therapeutic approach will be presented. Through the increased understanding of key deregulated cellular signalling mechanisms in melanoma, our ultimate goal is to harness biomarkers of these processes for novel personalised and precision based therapies, increasing treatment efficacy as well as the reduction in the premature loss of life from this most lethal form of skin cancer.
Chair: Professor Mark Birch-Machin
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