Professor Sue Eccles
Academic Title: Professor of Experimental Cancer Therapeutics
Team: Tumour Biology & Metastasis
Tel: 0208 722 4210
Location: McElwain Laboratories, Sutton
Our research focuses on cellular processes involved in tumour progression and their potential to yield new molecular therapeutic targets. We have particular interests in glioma, breast, prostate and squamous carcinomas of the head and neck. We have established a comprehensive portfolio of assays of angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis for target discovery/ validation and evaluation of novel inhibitors emerging from the Division of Cancer Therapeutics’ drug discovery programme.
We mainly utilise molecularly characterised human tumour xenografts and we are also developing collections of patient-derived xenografts (PDX). We specialise in orthotopic or metastatic models which we have shown provide more clinically-relevant results. We have strong collaborations with the Paediatric Oncology group and we have developed orthotopic Wilms tumour and glioma models which, together with their transgenic models of medulloblastoma and neuroblastoma are invaluable for projects focussing specifically on paediatric drug development.
Many of the tumour models have been engineered to express luciferase for both bioluminescent imaging and also to measure pharmacodynamic effects on intracellular signalling pathways using reporter assays. A class II facility enables use of lentiviral technology to achieve stable or inducible knock down of genes of interest, or expression of mutant forms for target validation. We also work closely with colleagues in Magnetic Resonance Imaging to measure the effects of genetic manipulation or targeted agents on tumour physiology and metabolism using multimodality functional imaging.
Our translational research has contributed to the nomination of several molecularly targeted anti-cancer agents that are now in preclinical development or clinical trial (for example inhibitors of HSP90, PI3K, PKB, HDAC, CDK, CHK1, Aurora/Flt3, alpha-folate receptor). Current projects in our preclinical portfolio include the Wnt and HSF-1 signalling pathways and MPS-1.
We have also developed a suite of high-throughput microplate 3D functional assays to bridge the gap between simple 2D monolayer assays of tumour growth and survival and in vivo tumour models and to address the key aspects of tumour progression exemplified by tumour cell motility, invasion and angiogenesis.
- Targeting key signalling pathways in tumour and host cells which potentiate angiogenesis and metastasis.
- Preclinical development of novel targeted therapies and an understanding of microenvironmental mechanisms of resistance.
AACR Team Science Award
AACR Honour: Team wins prestigious global award for cancer drug success
Cellular processes involved in invasion and metastasis and their potential to yield new molecular therapeutic targets.
Inhibitors of SIAH Function
SIAH proteins have been identified as key proximal regulators of cellular responses to hypoxia and also have additional functions in RAS signalling.