New therapeutics for metastatic colorectal and pancreatic cancers

New therapeutics for metastatic colorectal and pancreatic cancers

Project details

Cancers arise when abnormal cells grow out from otherwise normal tissue. The resulting tumours contain many different types of cells, some that help the tumour to grow, and some that fight the tumour.

A common feature of all tumours is the bi-directional interactions between tumour cells and the stroma. Tumour cells can stimulate the inflamed stroma, which in turn can enhance the malignant traits of tumour cells. This self-amplifying feedback loop is fuelled by cytokines. For this reason, the concept of combating tumour progression, through inhibition of growth promoting cytokines present in the tumour microenvironment is becoming of great therapeutic interest.

This project will examine the source and function of cytokine called interleukin-11 during tumour metastasis and secondary tumour growth. The project will involve collaborations with clinicians at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, scientists at the Garvan Institute (Sydney) and industry partners at CSL Ltd. 

About our research group 

Understanding the complex cellular mechanisms involved in cancer progression is integral to the identification of successful therapeutics. The onset and progression of cancer is facilitated by complex interactions between neoplastic cells and the heterogeneous population of cells within the tumour microenvironment. Our research is focused on the link between chronic inflammation and cancer progression, which is a newly emerging field of research.

Metastasis cascade


Dr Tracy Putoczki

Tracy Putoczki
Laboratory Head

Project Type:

Dr Tracy Putoczki working in the lab

A signalling molecule called interleukin-11 is a potential new target for anti-cancer therapies