Edinburgh Cancer Research

Simon Langdon

Targeting ovarian and breast cancer cell signalling pathways

Dr Simon Langdon - Reader
Dr Simon Langdon - Reader

Research in a Nutshell

Cancer is characterised by changes in cell signalling pathways that regulate growth, survival and invasion. We are seeking to improve the treatment of ovarian and breast cancer by developing novel therapeutic strategies that target key cell signalling and metabolic pathways used in these cancers. 

Cell signalling targets under investigation include the oestrogen receptor (ER), HER/erbB receptor and DNA damage response pathways.  We are investigating targeted inhibitors and have previously demonstrated the potential of ER targeted therapy in selected ovarian cancers. We are currently exploring the value of HER receptor targeted therapeutics (tyrosine kinase inhibitors and therapeutic antibodies) in ovarian cancer models. Components of the DNA damage response pathway (e.g. CHEK1/2, Fanconi anaemia proteins) are being assessed as targets to modulate chemotherapy response. Individual cancers have differing degrees of dependency on these pathways and we are investigating the associations between cell signalling and cell fate. Identification of appropriate biomarkers could help stratify patients sensitive to these therapies.

The tumour microenvironment can markedly influence response to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy with hypoxia and acidosis contributing to treatment resistance and modified metabolism. Metabolic targets under investigation include pH regulators (e.g carbonic anhydrase IX), redox activity and components of the glycolysis pathway.



Simon Langdon Principal Investigator and Reader
Duniya Mosly PhD student (co-supervised with Andy Sims)
Sarah Taylor PhD student (co-supervised with Mark Arends)




  • Dr Andy Sims, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Carol Ward, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Mark Arends, University of Edinburgh 
  • Professor David Argyle, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Ian Kunkler, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Arran Turnbull, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor David Harrison, University of St Andrews
  • Dr Alexey Goltsov, University of Abertay
  • Dr Yusuf Deeni, University of Abertay
  • Professor Charlie Gourley, University of Edinburgh

Partners and Funders

  • Melville Trust
  • Medical Research Scotland
  • Scottish Funding Council

Scientific Themes

Ovarian cancer, breast cancer, cell signalling, experimental therapeutics, combinatorial strategies, cell metabolism, hypoxia

Technology Expertise

Cancer cell culture, in vivo antitumour studies, cell biology, molecular pathology, cancer therapy