alexa Targeting And Tackling The Cancer Stem Cell Niche | 22745
ISSN: 1948-5956

Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy
Open Access

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4th World Congress on Cancer Science & Therapy

Lynne-Marie Postovit
Accepted Abstracts: J Cancer Sci Ther
DOI: 10.4172/1948-5956.S1.035
Abstract
Tumours contain populations of cells with stem cell like properties, and it is believed that these phenotypically plastic cells are responsible for cancer progression and metastatic potential. Stem cell-like populations are regulated by dynamic niches, characterized by specific growth factors and extracellular matrices, as well as biophysical features such low oxygen tensions. Moreover, a growing body of evidence suggests that cancer cells co-opt stem cell-associated regulatory networks in order to sustain plasticity. We have discovered that an embryonic-associated protein called Nodal maintains stem cell phenotypes in cancer, and that it promotes classical hallmarks of cancer such as angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. We have also found that biophysical features of a growing tumour, in particular hypoxia, can promote tumour cell plasticity by up-regulating embryonic proteins like Nodal via a combinatorial mechanism. Finally, we have determined that exposure to normal embryonic stem cell factors can reprogram metastatic cancer cells toward a more differentiated, less tumourigenic phenotype. We are currently using quantitative SILAC-based proteomics together with developmental and cancer model systems to identify potential anti-tumourigenic proteins in stem cell-derived extracellular matrices; and to further understand how cancer cells hijack developmental signalling cascades to facilitate progression. By studying the mechanisms by which cancer cells acquire and sustain phenotypic plasticity, we may uncover novel targets for the prediction and prevention of tumour progression.
Biography
Lynne-Marie Postovit is the Alberta Innovates Health Solutions Translational Chair in Cancer, the Sawin-Baldwin Chair in Ovarian Cancer and the Dr. Anthony Noujaim Legacy Oncology Chair as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Alberta and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at Western University. She has published over 45 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the area of the cellular microenvironment, and her work has produced 3 patents; one of which progressed into clinical trials for the treatment of prostate cancer and has led to the development of a start-up company. In 2009, Dr. Postovit received the Peter Lougheed/CIHR New Investigator Award, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research?s (CIHR?s) most important career development award, given annually to Canada?s brightest young researcher at the beginning of their career. Finally, in 2012 she was named ?a scientist to watch? by the Scientist magazine. She studies the microenvironmental regulation of cell phenotype in cancer and stem cells. She is particularly interested measuring and targeting stem cell promoting proteins in the cancer microenvironment.
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