Focus on cancer treatment resistance

Tuesday, 18 June 2019 - 11:23am

Meet Dr Kate Brettingham-Moore, another local researcher who certainly wears many hats! Kate is a lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) where her key area of research involves profiling cancer treatment responses, focusing particularly on prostate cancer cells in her Project Grant study. You may not be surprised to learn that Kate teaches cell biology, genetics and research skills at UTAS while also raising her young family!

A born and bred Tasmanian, Kate completed her PhD in Biochemistry at UTas in 2007 before undertaking further training at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.  This is where Kate discovered she had a specific interest in cancer treatment resistance.

It’s important to note that many cancer therapies, such as radiotherapy, rely on purposefully inducing DNA damage to trigger cancer cell death. While this is effective in many cases, unfortunately for some patients, their form of disease is resistant and capable of surviving these treatments. This is why research such as Kate’s is so vital to our Tasmanian community – and beyond!

Kate was awarded a 2019 RHHRF Project Grant to investigate treatment resistance in a study entitled “The impact of repeated DNA damage on the molecular profile of prostate cancer cells”.  This investigation aims to understand the reason behind treatment resistance and uses a prostate cancer ‘cell line model’ to understand the relevant drivers of resistance. By profiling the mechanisms involved in treatment failure, Kate and her co-investigators hope to ultimately contribute to improved treatments and better predictive markers of response. 

Dr Brettingham-Moore, and her co-investigators, Dr Allison Black, Dr Phillippa Taberlay and Associate Professor Adele Holloway are scheduled to complete their project at the end of the year. 

We look forward to sharing results from this important work as soon as we can.

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