Research Group Head

Endocrine-related cancers represent at least 35% of newly diagnosed cancers. These include sex steroid-responsive cancers such as breast, endometrium and prostate together with thyroid, adrenal and subsets of ovarian cancer. Treatment options for many of these cancers are limited. Our group’s research is focused on two underserved endocrine cancers for which we have identified a shared pathogenesis, with therapeutic implications.

Epithelial thyroid cancer (ETC) is the most common endocrine malignancy and usually affects younger adults. The recently released cancer statistics for Victoria (Cancer in Victoria Statistics and Trends) show a continuing rise in the incidence of ETC with a 3-fold increase over the last 30 years.

Granulosa cell tumours (GCT) arise from ovarian granulosa cells (GC) and represent a specific subset of malignant ovarian tumours. GCT are unusual in that they have an unexplained propensity for late recurrence. ~80% of patients with aggressive or recurrent tumours die from their disease. At present, there are no reliable methods for predicting relapse and, aside from surgery, no therapies have proven effective. It is critically important to understand molecular mechanisms which contribute to the pathogenesis of GCT and may present novel therapeutic targets.

Our research has identified potential therapeutic targets that are associated with both ETC and GCT. Our research aims to understand the roles of these proteins in the pathogenesis of these diseases, and the efficacy of a combination therapy as a novel strategy for both cancers.

Current Research

  • Molecular pathogenesis of granulosa cell tumours
  • Novel combination therapies for granulosa cell tumours
  • Novel combination therapies for epithelial thyroid cancers
  • Efficacy of Smac mimetics to treat epithelial ovarian cancer

Research Group