Investigation into identification and classification of markers to assist clinicians identify which treatment regimen is best suited for specific disease types.

Using the extensive VEG correlative specimen database of patient samples from VEG trials, and relevant in vitro and in vivo models, we are developing a number of biomarker platforms to gain a better understanding of the mechanism of action of epigenetic drugs, predicting which patients are most likely to respond, and detecting early relapse.

Develop and validate novel response/resistance biomarkers

VEG correlative specimen database: one major strength and opportunity for the Biomarker and Discovery platforms is the large and comprehensive VEG Correlative Study Specimen Database. This custom database provides a platform to track patient’s specimens collected during the VEG trials. A unique VEG specimen ID facilitates the link between clinical outcomes and correlative results. The central database is maintained and stored securely in Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre to ensure quality assurance. To date 8 clinical trials have logged nearly 2,500 samples for use by the group to explore biomarkers. There are four current sites with a plan to expand to additional laboratories/clinical sites as required. Utilising this extensive specimen database, we will develop the following biomarker platforms:

  1. miRNA as a biomarker for epigenetic therapy
  2. analysis of colony fate and resistance in MDS
  3. methylation profiling and genomic and epigenomic correlates in MDS/AML and paediatric ALL/AML
  4. CDK9 inhibitor analysis
  5. NUR77 in MDS
  6. gene-signature of HDACi and/or proteasome inhibitor resistance in MM
  7. methylation predictors of treatment toxicity in children on ALL treatment
Short Title Description of New Biomarker project under development Investigator
miRNA biomarker miRNA as a response biomarker for epigenetic therapy M Dickinson
D Ritchie
Colony fate & resist in MDS Identifying predictive molecular biomarkers in myelodysplastic clones resistant to epigenetic therapies D Ritchie
L Chee
M Kenealy
Methylation and genomic correlates MDS/AML Integrating genomic and epigenomic predictive biomarkers in aza treated MDS N Wong
M Kenealy
Methylation as prognostic marker paeds leuk DNA methylation biomarkers with prognostic utility in paediatric ALL/AML R Saffrey
CDK9i analysis Biomarker analysis of CDK9 inhibition and predictors of therapeutic response in AML/MDS R Johnston
J Shortt
NUR77 MDS Evaluation of NUR77 expression as a marker of early epigenetic treatment response in MDS/AML T Dear
Gene sig HDACi+/- PI MM Identification of cancer biomarkers for predicting response to histone deacetylase inhibitor +/- proteasome inhibitor therapy in myeloma A Spencer
Methylation and  toxicity paeds ALL Combined genetic/epigenetic predictors of treatment toxicity in children with ALL: The Evaluation of the Risk of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Treatment Side-Effects (ERASE study) R Saffrey