Professor Adrian Bracken is using funding from Worldwide Cancer Research and The Brain Tumour Charity to look for ways to bypass resistance to a treatment for a rare but aggressive childhood brain cancer called paediatric diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG).
Professor Adrian Bracken is an Associate Professor at The Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin. His lab is looking into how specific genes in our DNA are switched "on or off" and how this goes wrong in cancer.
Targeted cancer treatments can be very effective, but they don't work the same for everyone because some patient's tumours end up developing resistance to the treatment or in some cases may be resistant already.
Recent discoveries have found that drugs that block a protein in cancer cells, called EZH2, could be useful for treating a highly aggressive childhood brain cancer known as DIPG. However, research has also found that cancer cells often develop resistance to these drugs, so there is a real need to identify alternative ways to treat these resistant cancers.
Professor Bracken is studying in detail how blocking the EZH2 protein helps to treat cancer in order to identify other angles of attack that could be exploited in cancers that have become resistant to treatment. Professor Bracken hopes that this project will lead to the development of alternative therapeutic strategies for DIPG and will form the basis for new clinical trials.
This project was made possible thanks to a co-funding partnership with The Brain Tumour Charity.