I lead an ovarian cancer laboratory focused on developing targeted therapies for ovarian cancer and other rare cancers. Our aim is to change the current treatment paradigm of “one size fits all” for women with ovarian cancer. This involves the use of novel pre-clinical models of epithelial ovarian cancer, complementing my activities as a medical oncologist in rare gynaecological cancers and cancer genetics.
We focus on designing novel treatments targeted to specific molecules that are altered in ovarian cancer and other rare cancer types, with an emphasis on unraveling causes of drug resistance.
My research has contributed to novel therapy in ovarian and rare cancers. From developing new therapies targeting gene or molecular defects in high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) (for example PARP inhibtors for treating ovarian cancer) to establishing The WEHI-Stafford Fox Rare Cancer Research Program which is aimed at developing new strategies for diagnosing and treating patients with rare cancers.
Half of the aggressive ovarian cancer subtype, high-grade serous cancer (HGSC), have abnormalities in DNA repair and should be susceptible to new PARP inhibitor therapy, yet not all those respond.
Team members: Dr Cassandra Vandenberg, Dr Mattew Wakefield
By developing new models of studying human ovarian cancers in the laboratory (patient-derived xenografts, PDX, which have abnormal DNA repair), we are exploring which markers predict which ovarian cancers will respond best to these exciting new treatments and most importantly, how to prevent resistance to PARP inhibitors in some of these cancers.
Many gynaecological cancers are rare and poorly studied. Therefore, specific effective treatments are not available. We have generated pre-clinical models to better understand potential therapeutic targets, such as those involving Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition.
We collaborate closely with Professor Tony Papenfuss and his team of bioinformaticians.
Team member: Dr Holly Barker
Our starting point is to focus on different types of rare cancers and to look across many types of cancers, to see what is in common for individuals responding well to treatment or surviving better than would be expected.
We collaborate closely with Professor Tony Papenfuss and his team of bioinformaticians and with Professor Magdalena Plebanski, and her team at RMIT.
Team members: Dr Kristy Shield-Artin, Dr Matthew Wakefield
The Scott laboratory has a strong emphasis on research that has potential for clinical translation.
Our relatively large laboratory is made up of a combination of clinician scientists, postdoctoral fellows, students, research assistants and genetic counsellors. We have a strong collaborative ethic and while the lab works across cancer types, technical expertise and resources are shared between both groups.
There is a variety of expertise within the group including bioinformatics, genomics and cell biology. We develop and study pre-clinical models such as patient-derived xenografts, organoids and cell lines and perform functional genomic screens.