Our Translational Oncogenomics team, led by Dr Marco Gerlinger, is developing new tools to detect and track the evolution of cancer cells within tumours, with the aim of designing better therapies that prevent drug resistance.
The team is particularly interested in gastrointestinal cancers, looking at how their genomic landscapes change over time and during spatial tumour expansion, and how these genetic and molecular changes drive resistance.
They hope to identify ways in which this resistance evolution could be stopped, reversed, or targeted with ‘synthetic lethal’ approaches – which take advantage of cancer cells’ overreliance on a limited number of genes in order to stay alive.
The development of patient derived immunogenic in vitro models from advanced and drug resistant gastrointestinal cancers is a further focus. Models including cancer cells and T cells in 2D and 3D configurations allow rapid testing of new immunotherapy approaches and to study immune evasion and resistance mechanisms.
Dr Gerlinger’s team has extensive experience of partnering with industry, having worked closely with pharmaceutical companies to determine how cancer becomes resistant to their novel drugs.
They are keen to develop new partnerships to continue this work, and to access drugs that could reverse the resistance mechanisms that the team has identified so far.