Microbes & Cancer
Synthetic Biology, Microbiome, Gene & Cell Therapy
As various research fields progress, so too do potential avenues towards the development of improved cancer treatment and detection strategies arising from these disparate research fields. The microbiome of cancer patients represents one such evolving avenue. Differences in the composition of the gut microbiome between different cancer patient cohorts have been reported for several years, and the existence of a tumour microbiome is receiving increasing attention (the ‘oncobiome’). Following such characterisation studies by our team (‘what’), we pursue ‘so what’ studies to understand any significance and mechanisms of interactions with the body. For development of medical interventions, we apply our findings in ‘now what’ studies. For example, we engineer designer bacteria (tumour-colonising bacteria) and designer proteins as therapeutics or diagnostics (Principal Investigator: Professor Mark Tangney).