Our Systems and Precision Cancer Medicine team, led by Dr Anguraj Sadanandam, is investigating ways to stratify tumours based on their genetic and clinical diversity.
The team is looking to aid future clinical decisions by developing tests that score both intra-tumour diversity – for instance how different cancer cells are genetically from other cells in the same tumour – and inter-tumour diversity, which measures a tumour in relation to other cancers of a similar type.
They have identified subtypes of different cancers (including pancreatic, colorectal and breast cancers) from primary tumour samples and specific gene signatures. They aim to use these subtypes to facilitate personalised and precise cancer diagnosis and therapy by targeting either the cancer cells or stromal cells (immune and fibroblasts).
Dr Sadanandam’s team is working on a number of projects that they are keen to develop in collaboration with commercial partners.
For example, they have collaborations with large pharmaceutical companies to develop syngeneic, genetically engineered and ‘avatar’ mice which could model human disease and personalised immunotherapy more effectively than ever before – growing tumours that very closely mimic human tumours from individual patients.
This work, and other programmes that are developing new preclinical model systems along with rigorous computational analysis, will allow partners to test their pipeline drugs to generate data to clearly show effectiveness in specific subtypes of different cancers, and determine where drugs might be most effective in patients.