News

26th March 2020

Following the shutdown of both Italian and British research labs due to COVID-19, our monthly PRIME conference call took place via zoom, ensuring our work continues at this difficult time.

9th March 2020

Our paper entitled "Genome-wide plasma DNA methylation features of metastatic prostate cancer", spearheaded by newly minted Dr Anjui, alongside Paolo and Daniel, both Senior Research Fellows, was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI). Our study attracted media attention, with an article in The Times (of London).

3rd March 2020

Larissa, Clinical Research Fellow working on the STRATOSPHERE project, presented data at the EACR-AACR-ASPIC Tumour Microenvironment Conference in Lisbon, Portugal about her work on TILs (tumour infiltrating lymphocytes) in core biopsies from patients recruited to the STAMPEDE trial .

13-15th February 2020

Emily, Clinical Research Fellow working on the STRATOSPHERE project, represented the Attard Lab at GU ASCO in San Francisco, USA. She attended meetings for the ICECAP and STAMPEDE clinical trials, presented preliminary gene expression data generated in collaboration with Decipher Bio and Marina Parry, Senior Research Fellow on maternity leave, and met fellow trainees at the Trainee and Early Career Networking Lunch.

13th December 2019

Today we welcomed members of the Prostate Cancer Research Charity (PCRC) to our labs at the UCL Cancer Institute. They are funding our group to enable us to further the translational work on the STAMPEDE trial, to help tailor treatment for prostate cancer patients.

12th December 2019

We hosted our collaborators from Trento, led by Francesca Demichelis, on the hugely exciting PRIME project, an Accelerator Award funded by CRUK, at the Cancer Institute. We discussed the last few months’ progress, as well as our upcoming plans. It was an opportunity to see Francesco, a PRIME Clinical Research Fellow who has recently returned to Italy following a few months in the team, and welcome Nicole, also a Clinical Research Fellow who is working on PRIME.

11th December 2019

We had our Attard Lab Christmas party at Mamuska, a delicious Polish restaurant, where we enjoyed pierogi, gulasz and (sensible amounts of) vodka. A great opportunity to relax, unwind and get into the festive spirit.

10th December 2019

Emily and Larissa, both Clinical Research Fellows working on our STRATOSPHERE project, presented updated data to the Biological Research Group of the STAMPEDE clinical trial team. While still preliminary, it is very exciting. Watch this space for more!

3rd December 2019

Anjui passed his viva today! Thank you to his examiners Dr Mark Linch (UCL) and Dr Charlie Massie (CRUK Cambridge Centre) who gave him a grilling on his thesis entitled "Circulating Cell-Free DNA Methylation Analysis of Metastatic Prostate Cancer". Anjui is remaining in the group as a postdoc, continuing the work he did during his PhD, as well as continuing his medical training at UCLH.

26th September 2019

We are very excited that our paper entitled "Plasma Androgen Receptor Copy Number Status at Emergence of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer: A Pooled Multicohort Analysis" was published in JCO Precision Oncology. A large collaborative effort which demonstrated that patients with a plasma androgen receptor (AR) copy number value of 1.92 or greater had aggressive disease that is poorly responsive to AR targeting and is associated with a prior short response to primary androgen-deprivation therapy.

23rd September 2019

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded funding by the PCRC (Prostate Cancer Research Charity) to expand our work characterising tumours from the STAMPEDE clinical trial to identify novel biomarkers. This will enable us to determine which patients stand to benefit from which treatment. More details can be found on the PCRC webpage.

15th July 2019

We held our second team Away Day at Goodenough College, London, where we spent the morning working in teams to address questions that had been proposed, and were voted on, by lab members. These included how to design the ultimate study/experiment to characterise prostate cancer evolution, different ways automisation and AI could replace or hopefully just complement us and how we could improve the way we work to maximize our output and impact without compromising team spirit?​ In the afternoon, we had presentations on methylation in prostate cancer and methods for integrating different types of data. We finished off the day with a BBQ and some well deserved drinks!

5th July 2019

Blanca, Clinical Research Fellow, and Daniel, Senior Research Fellow, were at UCLH for the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences Research Open Day, which celebrates all the ground-breaking research taking place at UCL. They were on hand to discuss the ReImagine project with visitors.​

23rd-26th June 2019

Five members of the team, Clinical Fellows Blanca, Emily and Francesco, as well as one of our Computational Biologists, Mahedi, and Senior Research Fellow, Marina, attended the European Association for Cancer Research Cancer Genomics Conference at Churchill College in Cambridge. An opportunity for the team to enjoy some cutting-edge science, for Emily and Marina to present preliminary work from the STRATOSPHERE Consortium, but also to spend some time with collaborators from Alex Wyatt's team from Vancouver, taking part in a time honoured Cambridge tradition: punting.

23rd June 2019

Ania, Lab Manager, and Anu, Clinical Fellow, represented the team on a ReImagine stand at the Cancer Survivors' Day at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

15th June 2019

Anu, Clinical Research Fellow, Daniel, Senior Research Fellow and Mazlina, Research Fellow, all attended Prostate Cancer UK's 10k March for Men at the Olympic Stadium in London to thank and recognise PCUK for all the support they have given us over the years.

21st May 2019

Maria, Clinical Research Fellow, and Sharan, Research Assistant, attended the International Clinical Trials’ Day at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation Trust on the ReImagine (see News from 18th October) stand, talking about the work the team will be doing on the project.

9th April 2019

The PCF-SELECT (Specific Evaluation in Liquid biopsies of Established prostate Cancer Targets) Plasma DNA Assay team, a collaboration between the Treatment Resistance team, Weill Cornell, The University of Trento, The University of British Columbia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Washington University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, met up at the Cancer Institute for an update on the project's progress. Funded in late 2016 by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the team is developing a novel genomics sequencing test capable of identifying actionable mutations from a simple blood sample.

2nd April 2019

25th January 2019

The team enjoyed a night out at Hammersmith Town Hall to celebrate Burns Night, in honour of the Scotland's National Poet - Robert Burns - who's birthday is 25th January.

The lab ate haggis, neeps and tatties, and took part in a Ceilidh, which is traditional Scottish Dancing. Gert even wore his kilt!

The PRIME team (see News from 22nd September 2018), a CRUK funded collaboration between the Treatment Resistance team and Francesca Demichelis' team at the University of Trento, met up in Trento for their first face to face project update, having kept in touch with teleconferencing previously.

 

After the hard work, there was pizza of course!

We look forward to bringing you updates from the team's work in the next few months and years.

22nd November 2018

Two of the team's Clinical Research Fellows, Anu and Emily, presented their work at the Cancer Institute's Annual Conference. They also took part in the one minute flash talks. A challenging but exciting way to share their projects with a wider audience across the Institute.

18th October 2018

We are delighted to announce that we are part of the MRC funded ReIMAGINE study, which will test for the first time if MRI scans can be used for population screening to detect prostate cancer more accurately. The project will combine the underlying molecular changes in the cancer with state-of-the-art imaging. This will allow the prediction of prostate cancer status for the individual (low, medium or high risk) without recourse to biopsy. It will also allow prediction of which prostate cancers are likely to progress over time and which are not, which has largely eluded scientists so far. By doing so, men will be subject to fewer but better biopsies, improved risk stratification, appropriate treatment allocation, more benefit, less harm and more cost-effective care.

 

Our team will lead Work Strand 4 (WS4), which is the analysis of genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic, immune/inflammatory data from tumour cores, blood and urine.

More information can be found here https://www.ucl.ac.uk/surgery/research/situ-trials/reimagine/reimagine-trial-information

29th September 2018

Anjui, PhD student, Daniel and Marina, both Senior Research Fellows, welcomed CRUK supporters for lab tours during the Institute's Open Day. Anjui explained the concept and applications of liquid biopsy, Daniel talked about the group's work on single cells and Marina talked about the STRATOSPHERE project. Some participants were also able to try their hand at pipetting. 

A wonderful opportunity to share our work with supporters and thank them for their hard work in fundraising.

20th September 2018

The group, alongside close collaborator Francesca Demichelis (@FrancescaBZNY) at the University of Trento, Italy, has received funding through an Accelerator Award from CRUK (Cancer Research UK) and AIRC (Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro) to develop novel tools to analyse liquid biopsies.

 

PRIME (Prostate cancer plasma Integrative multimodal evaluation) aims to maximise the amount of information that can be generated from liquid biopsies, expanding their clinical uses in molecular stratification, treatment selection, and monitoring resistance.

 

The project will make use of the high-quality liquid biopsies from clinical trials of advanced prostate cancer, including the UK-wide, practice-changing STAMPEDE clinical trial for men starting long-term life-prolonging hormone therapies.This gives the team access to cases representative of the whole spectrum of advanced prostate cancer, including hormone-sensitive disease and through to men who have developed treatment resistance.

More information is available here: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/funding-for-researchers/research-features/2018-09-14-prime-time-how-team-science-is-bringing-liquid-biopsies-into-the-clinic-for-prostate-cancer

14th September 2018

Emily, Clinical Research Fellow, (@EmilyGrist1) and Marina, Senior Research Fellow, (@Marina_Parry) attended the Molecular Analysis for Personalised Therapy (MAP) Conference in Paris (https://www.esmo.org/Conferences/MAP-2018-Molecular-Analysis-for-Personalised-Therapy) and presented preliminary work on the STRATOSPHERE project, funded by PCUK. 

Treatment Resistance Group, UCL Cancer Institute, Paul O'Gorman Building, 72 Huntley Street, London, WC1E 6DD, UK

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