Research focuses on the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, factors that influence the inflammatory microenvironment in lung cancer and the integration of molecular pathology into routine clinical practice.
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-associated death worldwide with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounting for 80% of all cases. The advent of modern targeted chemotherapies and new methods of tissue sampling requires integration of routine diagnostic processes with modern molecular methodologies. This involves integrating clinical characteristics, tumour morphology and the results of immunohistochemical and molecular (DNA and RNA). Well recognised weaknesses in biomarkers for emerging immunotherapies in lung cancer emphasises the importance of understanding the tumour microenvironment. Research focuses include understanding the inflammatory cell function in the lung tumour microenvironment, application of molecular pathology in the diagnosis of lung cancer and investigating potential new tumour cell regulatory pathways that might be amenable to novel targeted therapies.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a form of progressive lung fibrosis leading to respiratory failure and death. Previous studies in the Department identified the presence of an autoantibody to an alveolar epithelial antigen in many of these patients. Current research has focussed on further characterising the nature of the antigen and the significance of the antibody in terms of disease progression and prognosis.