Identification and Characterization of a Novel Biomarker for Cancer Therapy

Genomic instability is a universal hallmark of all cancers. Many of the most commonly used chemotherapeutic agents target this genomic instability by directly damaging the DNA, which results in tumour cell death. A new generation of drugs have been developed that target the DNA repair enzyme PARP to induce DNA damage and cell death. PARP inhibitor therapy works on the fundamentals of synthetic lethality, where cells with defective homologous recombination repair, as seen in many cancers, are unable to repair lesions induced by PARP inhibitors. Subsequently, treatment with PARP inhibitors leads to tumour cell death.

Our data demonstrates that a new protein that functions in the repair of DNA damage, could be used as a companion diagnostic for PARP inhibitors. We have shown that this protein is depleted in tumour cells, is required for homologous recombination and therefore predicts sensitivity to PARP inhibitors. This project aims to develop this protein as a biomarker for tumour response to PARP inhibitors using a monoclonal antibody. Our priority is to identify the cancer patients most likely to benefit from PARP inhibitor therapy, thereby personalising patient care and improving patient survival.

Learning outcome from this webinar

Introduction to DNA damage repair pathways

Update on the use of PARP inhibitors in cancer treatment

The value of biomarkers

In this webinar, you will learn

Webinar Details

  • Date: May 12th, 2020
  • Time: 10am EST | 7am PST
  • Speaker:
Joshua Burgess, Ph.D.

Advance Queensland Early Career Research Fellow of Translational Research Institute, Queensland University of Technology

Dr. Joshua Burgess is an Advance Queensland Early Career Research Fellow at Queensland University of Technology. Dr. Burgess' work within Cancer and Ageing Research Program aims to determine how genome instability contributes towards the development of cancer. The characterisation of the function of key DNA repair proteins will aid the development of new drugs and biomarkers for cancer treatment. Dr. Burgess joined QUT and the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation in January 2012 and completed his PhD in 2016.
Following the completion of his PhD he was awarded an Advance Queensland Early Career Fellowship to translate his PhD work and discoveries to lead to a beneficial clinical outcome for cancer patients. The most significant contributions of Dr. Burgess to this field of research was through the characterisation of the function of a novel DNA repair protein, which has laid the foundation for the development of a biomarker for PARP inhibitor treatment in breast and ovarian cancer patients.

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