Project ID iCASE2023_04


Co Supervisor 1A School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences Comprehensive Cancer CentreWebsite

Co Supervisor 1B School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences Centre for Cancer, Society and Public Health Translational Oncology and Urology ResearchWebsite

Isolation and characterisation of circulating tumour cells; can we find molecular vulnerabilities?

The invasive behaviour of cells that reside in the primary tumour or metastatic niches has been extensively studied, both in vitro and in vivo. However, the invasive characteristics of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) that are key to seeding metastasis remain largely unknown. Indeed, whilst it is clearly documented that cancer cells are likely to use specialised matrix degrading processes, called invadopodia,
to promote metastasis, the evidence of invadopodia activity in CTCs is lacking. Recent technological developments have made it possible to isolate CTCs for biological analysis. However, very few have yet exploited this emerging technology, meaning the potential clinical importance of CTCs remains unexplored. Recently the Wells lab was able to evidence that CTC isolated from prostate cancer patients are able to potentiate invadopodia structures to degrade matrix (1). This was a small pilot study with significant scope for further explorative studies. Moreover, whilst isolation of CTCs has been established the longer-term culture of these cells to use in functional studies remains unexplored. Access to this state

One representative publication from each co-supervisor:

Invadopodia play a role in prostate cancer progression (2022) Valeria Manuelli , Fidelma Cahill , Harriet Wylie , Cheryl Gillett , Isabel Correa , Susanne Heck , Alex Rimmer , Anna Haire , Mieke Van Hemelrijck, Sarah Rudman and Claire M. Wells BMC Cancer (2022) 22:386

RESEARCHRisk of cardiovascular disease following gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists vs antagonists in prostate cancer: Real-world evidence from five databases (2020) George, G., Garmo, H., Scailteux, L-M., Balusson, F., De Coster, G., De Schutter, H., Kuiper, J. G., Oger, E., Verbeeck, J. & Van Hemelrijck, M., International Journal of Cancer.148(9): 2203–2211.