C. elegans model to study novel treatments of cancer
Cancer growth is frequently driven by mutations in genes encoding components of the MAPK-signalling pathway. For example, activating mutations in KRASis important in pancreatic cancer and oncogenic BRAFis responsible for tumour progression in most patients with melanoma. These genes are extremely well conserved during evolution and they were initially described in the model organism C. elegans. This nematode displays specific and easily detected phenotypes when the MAPK-signalling pathway is over-activated or blocked.
In this project, we take advantage of the simplicity of the C. elegans model to explore novel treatments of cancer. The aim is to create tractable strains of nematodes carrying specific oncogenes. These will be used to screen for novel targets and substances that potentially can inhibit tumour growth.