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Connecting cancer mechanisms

  • Researcher: Dr Colin Adrain
  • Institution: Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC), Lisbon, Portugal
  • Award Amount: £196,827 for 3 years from September 2014
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Connecting cancer mechanisms
Dr Colin Adrain at the IGC in Lisbon, Portugal is helping to map exactly how cancer develops and recently his team were able to add another piece of the puzzle. They have been studying a group of proteins called iRhoms, which have been linked to several different cancers. Through this work they have connected iRhom activity to potentially cancerous processes mediated by another protein called EFGR. Dr Adrain is now using Worldwide Cancer Research funding to study in greater depth how this happens. He is investigating whether iRhom proteins could be master regulators of EFGR, and how else they might influence cancer cell growth or death.

Cancer is an incredibly complex disease. In order to truly understand how it works, each and every possible molecular interaction and activity must be mapped- a huge task. But little by little scientists are getting there. And the more we know, the better therapies we can develop. The sheer extent of the molecular interactions involved in developing cancer is so vast that scientists must focus on just a few molecules at a time, carefully linking together exactly how they work. It’s painstaking, but vital work.
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