Abnormal expression and activation of growth factor receptors plays an important role in the progression of a wide range of human cancers. Specific classes of drugs such as monoclonal antibodies, small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors target the growth factor receptors, such as the human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), have been approved for the treatment of patients with a wide range of cancers. However, none of the EGFR inhibitors have yet to be approved for the treatment of patients with liver cancer. The main role of EGFR within the liver is to heal and induce tissue repair by setting off a cascade of pathways. When the liver is exposed to chronic toxicities deregulation of EGFR expression can occur leading to cellular proliferation, reduced cell-death which in turn can result in the formation of liver cancer. The main goal of this project is to investigate the role of EGFR in the progression of liver cancer and response to treatment with a broad range of targeted agents. We hope our results could help to overcome resistance to current therapies and to improve survival rates in patients diagnosed with liver cancer.
I have carried out MSc in Cancer Biology and BSc Hons Biomedical sciences in Kingston University. I developed an interest in research throughout my MSc and as a Clinical Trials Practitioner. In this role, I was able to see the beneficial effects of the developments of targeted therapies on cancer patients as well as observing the challenges faced by the practitioners of sustaining the beneficial effect of the newly created targeted therapies. Therefore, my interest is in better understanding of the biology of liver cancer and the development of more effective treatment for such patients.