Research // Cancer //

Genomic approaches to cancer diagnosis and treatment

As cancer therapy increasingly involves immune approaches, genomic techniques are being applied to the analysis of immune responses to cancer as well as cancer cells themselves. 

Maurice Wilkins Centre researchers are part of the new wave of cancer genomics, aiming to improve the targeting and impact of immune therapy for cancer as well as understand how inflammation drives cancer progression.

While immune therapy has delivered unprecedented results for many cancer patients, most patients still don’t respond to existing drugs. Further advances depend on better understanding of the cells and molecular pathways involved in immune interactions with cancer cells, and the Centre’s genomic expertise enables these to be examined using genome-wide techniques.

Our investigations aim to generate integrative functional genomic profiles of cancers that associate with immune cell transcriptional signatures, which may identify master regulatory genes or gene variants driving these immune cell pathways. This approach may also identify therapeutic opportunities and predictive and prognostic biomarkers.

Alongside these analyses we will also be using genomics to identify inflammatory gene signatures and how they link with common cancer associated mutations, particularly in those affected by abnormalities in the p53 tumour suppressor pathways.