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Cancer Plasticity and Dormancy Program

Developing new treatment paradigms to overcome treatment resistance in cancer.

Program Directors

Each year, around 10 million people die of cancer worldwide. The majority of cancer deaths arise from advanced-stage disease that has spread (metastasised) around the body and become resistant to treatment. The skeleton is one of the most common sites of metastasis. Once present in the skeleton, cancers are notoriously difficult to treat. Our Program is dedicated to discovering new treatment paradigms to target these currently incurable metastatic and relapsing cancers.

We look at advanced cancers through the lens of cancer cell ‘plasticity’. This is the highly dynamic movement of cancer cells between different states (such as from a therapy-sensitive to a therapy-resistant state, and from a dormant cancer cell to an actively growing tumour).

Our Program leverages expertise in advanced breast cancer, advanced prostate cancer and multiple myeloma. In all three of these cancers, the skeleton is the major site of cancer metastasis. For this reason, we focus on bone metastasis as an exemplar of cell-state changes in cancer.

We aim to contribute to a future where all cancers can be effectively treated, controlled, and prevented.