Dr Claudia Wellbrock
Michael Smith Building|Oxford Road|Manchester|M13 9PT
Improving the treatment of Melanoma Skin Cancer///
Malignant melanoma accounts for over 85% of all skin cancer deaths, and unfortunately its incidence is increasing worldwide. Melanoma originates from ‘melanocytes’, which are specialised cells in the skin. Under normal conditions, sun exposure causes melanocytes to produce the brown pigment ‘melanin’, which is then distributed to other skin cells to protect them against the harmful UV radiation found in sunlight. Although this ‘tanning-response’ is widely appreciated, too much UV radiation can transform melanocytes into cancerous melanoma cells. These melanoma cells can then leave the skin, spread to distant sites in the body, and eventually form secondary tumours. This aggressive spreading and a notorious resistance of melanoma against conventional cancer therapies explains the high lethality of this cancer. In order to help improving current strategies for the treatment of melanoma, we are studying the biology underlying melanocyte transformation. We also investigate how melanoma cells talk to each other within a tumour, and how they communicate with the surrounding tissue. It is important to understand what regulates these communications, because they impact on the ability of the melanoma cells to spread throughout the body, and also enable them to escape current therapy approaches.
- Smith, M., Ferguson, J., Arozarena, I., Hayward, R., Marais, R., Chapman, A., Hurlstone, A. & Wellbrock, C (2013). Effect of SMURF2 Targeting on Susceptibility to MEK Inhibitors in Melanoma. J Natl Cancer Inst, 105(1), 33-46. eScholarID:184842 | PMID:23250956 | DOI:10.1093/jnci/djs471
- Ferguson J, Arozarena I, Ehrhardt M and Wellbrock C. (2012). Combination of MEK and SRC inhibition suppresses melanoma cell growth and invasion. Oncogene, February(6), doi: 10.1038/onc.2012.25. eScholarID:146341
- Arozarena, I., Bischof, H., Gilby, D., Belloni, B., Dummer, R. & Wellbrock, C (2011). In melanoma, beta-catenin is a suppressor of invasion. Oncogene, eScholarID:123197 | PMID:21577209 | DOI:10.1038/onc.2011.162
- Wellbrock, C. & Hurlstone, A (2010). BRAF as therapeutic target in melanoma. Biochem Pharmacol, 80(5), 561-7. eScholarID:118833 | PMID:20350535 | DOI:10.1016/j.bcp.2010.03.019
PhD projects available
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