Functional genomics to improve therapeutic options for rare cancers

Functional genomics to improve therapeutic options for rare cancers

Project details

Rare cancers occur with an incidence of less than 6 per 100,000 population annually. However, collectively they account for almost a quarter of all new cancers diagnosed and account for one third of cancer-related deaths. Yet for many, the key cancer drivers are unknown. Detailed characterisation of rare cancers is essential in order to improve outcomes for rare cancer patients.

This project will involve the analysis of rare cancer patient samples using a variety of techniques including genomics, 3D organoid culture, live cell imaging, and the development of patient-derived long-term in vivo cell lines. The aim is to identify pathways that mediate response to conventional chemotherapeutics and that show potential for targeting with novel agents, to inform clinical trial design in these under-studied cancers.

About our research group

The Scott Laboratory has a strong emphasis on research that has potential for clinical translation. Our relatively large laboratory of 15 is made up of a combination of clinician scientists, post-doctoral fellows, students and research assistants. We collaborate widely – including with the Papenfuss bioinformatics laboratory. The lab’s two main foci are rare cancers and ovarian cancer, with technical expertise and resources shared between these projects . There is a variety of expertise within the group including bioinformatics, genomics and cell biology. Dr Holly Barker is the Institute’s Stafford Fox Centenary Fellow in rare cancer research.



Professor Tony Papenfuss

Tony Papenfuss
Head, Computational Biology; Laboratory Head
Dr Holly Barker in the lab
ACRF Stem Cells and Cancer division

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