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Oncoprotein MYB in the head and neck cancer adenoid cystic carcinoma

Adenoid cystic carcinoma is characterised by slow but relentless growth that is only minimally affected by therapeutic treatments. Despite radio- and chemo-therapy, metastatic adenoid cystic carcinomas invariably progress until the patient succumb to the disease. In this research, we will investigate the role of the transcription factor and protooncogene MYB, frequently altered in adenoid cystic carcinoma, in promoting radio and chemo-resistance.

The central hypothesis that will be investigated is whether MYB gene rearrangements/overexpression in adenoid cystic carcinoma lead to activation of ATR, ATM, BUB1 and resistance to radiation and/or DNA damaging agents. A further aim will be to investigate whether disruption of the MYB > (ATR, ATM, BUB1) axis could cause enhanced sensitivity of cancer cells to radiation and/or chemotherapy, with the ultimate objective of improving treatment and survival of cancer patients.

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Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Professor Arturo Sala
Professor Arturo Sala - Trained in Biochemistry and Cellular Biology at the University of Rome and the Italian National Institute of Health, I completed a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” on the topic of DNA and RNA methylation in relation to muscle cell differentiation.  After a short postdoctoral training in the National Institute of Health in Rome, I won an international post-doctoral fellowship from the Italian Association for Cancer Research (AIRC) and moved to the Kimmel Cancer Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia. Working in the laboratory of Prof. Bruno Calabretta, I was the first to characterize the transcription factor and oncoprotein B-MYB and establish its relationship with key tumour suppressor genes, such as p53 and retinoblastoma family members.  In 2001 I was recruited by the UCL Institute of Child Health as Senior Lecturer and later promoted to Reader. In UCL I continued to pursue the study of oncogenic transcription factors in the context of neuroblastoma, a childhood tumour affecting the peripheral nervous system. I was appointed Professor of Translational Cancer Research and Deputy Director of the Brunel Institute of Cancer Genetics and Pharmacogenomics in September 2011. In 2016 I joined the Synthetic Biology Theme in the Institute of Environment, Health and Societes. 

Related Research Group(s)

human body

Inflammation Research and Translational Medicine - Driving scientific innovation and discovery for diagnosis, treatment, and management of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and immune disorders, microbial resistance, and cancer.

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Project last modified 21/11/2023