Seminar | Combining genomic and functional studies to identify weaknesses in treatment-refractory cancer

Lecture Theatre C, Level 7, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, 305 Grattan St, Melbourne

Group Lead, Tumour Heterogeneity in Metastatic Cancer
UMCCR and Department of Clinical Pathology

Tumour progression towards the metastatic stage is the primary cause of cancer-related patient fatality. For patients who develop metastases, survival rates are very poor. Current therapies are often unsuccessful against metastatic tumours, which are either unresponsive to treatment or initially respond but recur after treatment cessation. The ability to prevent post-treatment recurrence would therefore dramatically improve patient survival. A key roadblock to achieve this goal resides in our poor understanding of inter-patient and intra-tumour metastatic heterogeneity and of the different pathways that metastatic cells can use to resist treatment.

A/Professor Hollande will summarise recent results obtained by his group on the characterisation of inter and intra-tumour heterogeneity in advanced cancer. He will describe how combining the genomic and functional characterisation of patient-derived samples can identify weaknesses that may be exploited for therapeutic benefit in advanced solid tumours and discuss the benefit of this enhanced knowledge to foster precision oncology approaches.

Associate Professor Frederic Hollande

Fred obtained his PhD in 1994 from the University of Montpellier, France. He was a senior Research Fellow for the French CNRS between 2009 and 2012 and Headed the Oncology Research Department at the Institute of Functional Genomics of Montpellier in 2011-2012. In parallel with his academic work he co-founded in 2007 a small biotech company developing therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. He was the joint-scientific director of this company and designed its Intellectual Property portfolio. The company was acquired by the French Pharmaceutical company Servier in June 2011.

Fred moved to Melbourne in September 2012 to take up a position as Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Melbourne. He currently is the Deputy Head of Department at the Department of Clinical Pathology. His research interests include the analysis of colorectal cancer stem cell regulation by their surrounding environment, as well as the study of the impact of inter and intra-tumour heterogeneity on metastatic progression and treatment response.