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).
Dr. Adrian Bracken is an Associate Professor at The Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin. His lab are looking into the changes in our cells that can switch genes "on or off" and their implications for cancer.
Targeted cancer treatments can be very effective, but they don't work the same for everyone because some patient's tumours will inevitably develop resistance to the treatment, or be resistant already.
Proteins in cells that regulate the on/off state of genes have been implicated in a variety of cancers and recent breakthroughs have identified once such protein, called EZH2, as a promising target for treating DIPG.
It's inevitable that some tumours will be resistant to drugs that block EZH2, so Professor Bracken is looking for ways to indirectly block it by targeting other associated proteins. Research has shown that EZH2 works in concert with several other proteins - so his team wants to find out if they can inhibit these to produce the same cancer-stopping effect.
This project was made possible thanks to a co-funding partnership with The Brain Tumour Charity.