Edinburgh Cancer Research

News 2022

An archive of CRUK Edinburgh Centre News from 2022

Transcriptomic profiling may identify patients with breast cancer who can safely omit radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery

Patients with invasive breast cancer that had low scores on an investigational gene molecular signature had similar rates of local recurrence whether or not they received adjuvant radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery: December 2022

Identification of a signalling axis associated with immune suppression and poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer

Graphical summary of a proposed mechanism through which FAK-IL6 signalling amplifies PD-L2 expression in PDAC
Using animal modelling and human transcriptomic datasets, Edinburgh researchers demonstrated that FAK-IL6 signalling amplifies pathways associated with immune suppression and poor patient prognosis in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

ecDNA copy number is key to high-level oncogene expression, new research shows

A recent study has demonstrated that, contrary to recent reports, the transcriptional output of oncogenes carried on extrachromosomal DNA in glioblastoma stem cells is driven by the copy number of the ecDNA, rather than their spatial localization into transcriptional hubs: December 2022

Longest follow-up of patients with early breast cancer shows radiotherapy does not improve survival after 30 years

Radiotherapy after breast conserving surgery in conjunction with chemotherapy or tamoxifen to treat early breast cancer reduces the risk of the disease returning in the same breast in the next ten years but makes little difference to that risk thereafter. Nor does it improve overall survival after 30 years.

Protein insights may boost lung cancer treatment

A 3D rendering of cancer cells
Scientists at the Institute of Genetics and Cancer investigating the mechanics of the early stages of lung cancer have identified a new potential treatment, which could also aid early detection of the disease: November 2022

XDF Programme Annual Symposium 2022

Nine of the XDF Programme Fellows accompanied by the Programme Lead and the Scientific Administrator
Our Institute’s Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship (XDF) Programme Annual Symposium took place on the 5th of October delivering a feast of cross-disciplinary science

Kidney cancer drug accepted for use within NHS Scotland and across the UK

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) prevents PD‑L1 and PD‑L2 ligand proteins on tumour cells from binding with PD⁠-⁠1 receptors on T cells
Results of an international study with its UK component led from Edinburgh has led to approval of the first ever treatment reducing relapse after kidney cancer surgery: October 2022

National Postdoc Appreciation Week Awards

From left to right: Jareth, Adelaide, Marta, Øyvind
Congratulations to Adelaide Young, Marta Canel, Øyvind Almelid and Jareth Wolfe on recently receiving National Postdoc Appreciation Week Awards for their work at the Institute: September 2022

Understanding cell state transitions might aid therapeutic developments

cSTAR methodology used for separation of proliferation and differentiation signalling patterns in neuroblastoma cells.
Edinburgh researchers contributed to a study describing a novel approach for mapping cell states, modelling cell state transitions and predicting targeted interventions to convert cell fate decisions: September 2022

Shining a Light on Brain Cancer

Why are brain tumours so hard to treat? What's it like living with brain cancer and what role does research have in developing our understanding of cancer? In 2022, we shone a light on brain cancer to answer these questions and more.

Our postdoctoral scientist completed IRONMAN Tallinn to raise funds for sarcoma research

Piotr after completing his IRONMAN Tallinn race
Our postdoctoral researcher Piotr Manasterski completed a gruelling IRONMAN Tallinn event to raise awareness about the importance of sarcoma research: September 2022

IGC Langmuir Talent Development Fellowships in Cancer Research

A new fund has been launched by the Institute of Genetics and Cancer to support early career researchers in their journey to independence, thanks to a significant philanthropic donation from Hugh and Josseline Langmuir: September 2022

Therapy trial offers breast cancer patients hope

Women with an early form of breast cancer are more likely to stay free of the disease after an extra radiotherapy boost, new research shows.

Ovarian carcinosarcoma as a distinct form of ovarian cancer

Comparison of ovarian carcinosarcoma (OCS) and high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC).
Our investigators report detailed clinical and histopathological characterisation of the largest pathologically confirmed cohort of ovarian carcinosarcoma patients to date: August 2022

New strategy to target cancer cells expressing PD-L1

Graphical abstract of the work published in JACS Au.
Edinburgh researchers report a ligand-tetrazine conjugate approach to “track & treat” malignant cells that are capable of evading the immune system: August 2022

Drivers of endocrine therapy resistance in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer

Genomic characteristics of some of the samples analysed in the study.
Edinburgh researchers used a unique sample set to provide new insights into endocrine therapy resistance in estrogen receptor positive breast cancer: August 2022

Dysregulation of RNA splicing linked to tumour cell plasticity

Alternative splicing events following Apc-deletion. [For details see Hall A et al. Nat Commun. 2022 May 19;13(1):2791].
Edinburgh researchers show that RNA splicing is a key mediator of tumour cell plasticity and a therapeutic vulnerability in colorectal cancer: August 2022

Multiomic characterization of high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma enables high-resolution patient stratification

Tumour-infiltrating immune cells across high-grade serous carcinoma subtypes.
Edinburgh led study provides high-resolution picture of the molecular landscape in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma, better defining patients who may benefit most from specific molecular therapeutics and highlighting those for whom novel treatment strategies are needed to improve outcomes: July 2022

Characterisation of a nucleo-adhesome

Graphical representation of the nucleo-adhesome concept
A study by Edinburgh scientists provides important new information on the ability of cell adhesion molecules to relocate to the cell nucleus: June 2022

Cancer drug precursor designed to reduce toxic side effects

Graphical abstract of the work published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry [J Med Chem. 2022 Jan 13;65(1):552-561]
Edinburgh researchers developed an orally bioavailable palladium activated 5-Fluorouracil precursor designed to evade anabolic and catabolic drug pathways: March 2022

Loss of Integrin-Linked Kinase sensitizes breast cancer to SRC inhibitors

Effects of Src inhibitors on growth of triple negative breast cancer in an animal model [for details see Beetham H et al. Cancer
Our researchers demonstrated that loss of Integrin-Linked Kinase sensitizes triple negative breast cancer to SRC inhibition: February 2022

Trametinib as a new standard of care option for low-grade serous ovarian cancer

The tissue origins and major molecular pathway alterations in different types of ovarian epithelial cancer. [from Shih et al. Am
Important contributions of Edinburgh investigators to the GOG281/LOGS clinical trial that offers new standard of care option for women with progressive or relapsed low-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Scientists in Scotland to get £12 million boost from Cancer Research UK

The charity has announced that experts in Edinburgh and Glasgow - the Cancer Research UK Scotland Centre - will receive the funding over the next five years for their ground-breaking work as part of a unique chain of cutting-edge research hubs around the UK: February 2022

Live from the Lab with the Brain Tumour Award team

Artistic representation of a brain microenvironment
Virtual Lab Tour with Prof Neil Carragher’s Research Group

Zebrafish study unlocks understanding of developmental mechanisms hijacked in cancer

The work, led by Alessandro Brombin and Liz Patton and in collaboration with Tamir Chandra, could potentially inform improved drug therapies for people living with melanoma: January 2022

Disparities in breast cancer care quality have reduced

Regional variation in chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer across Scotland has reduced significantly over the past 15 years, according to a new study: December 2021

TestEd team awarded Principal’s Medal at winter graduation ceremony

TestEd Logo
Professor Tim Aitman received the medal on behalf of the team for significant achievements in pioneering a way to mass population testing in an epidemic: December 2021

Multi-omic machine learning predictor of breast cancer therapy response

Schematic: prediction of response to neoadjuvant therapies
Edinburgh clinicians contributed to a study that developed new AI-based predictor of response to cancer therapy: December 2021