Fiona Yull, D.Phil.
Bromodomain inhibition in ovarian cancer and the tumor microenvironment
Scientists are actively working to find new therapies for ovarian cancer as resistance to current therapies, including PARP inhibitors and cisplatin, poses a major problem in the clinic. One promising approach is to develop strategies that activate the patient’s normal immune system and inflammatory response to fight cancer. Dr. Yull is proposing to use a class of drugs known as BET (Bromodomain and Extraterminal) inhibitors that can modify the normal cells surrounding the tumor for therapeutic benefit. BET inhibitors are thought to have an anti-tumor effect by blocking genes that promote tumor growth in tumors and immune cells. Dr. Yull will test the effects of BET inhibitors alone and in combination with PARP inhibitors on immune cells known as macrophages and on cells in the environment of the tumor using a cancer mouse model. If effective, this innovative strategy has the potential to provide a new tool to combat this deadly disease.