Dialog Box

Squamous cell carcinoma research advanced

Collaborative Team: Dr R Ladwa, Dr A Kulasinghe, H Liu, G Belz, Prof S Porceddu, A/Prof H Schaider, J Bowman.

With the interaction between the body’s immune system and cancer recognised as one of the most important factors in cancer growth and spread a new study will look to explore the relationship between the immune system and the world’s most common skin cancer.

The research project led by PA Hospital oncologist Dr Rahul Ladwa will use Digital Spatial Profiling technology to examine the relationship between the immune system and squamous cell carcinoma, with the technology allowing researchers to correlate outcomes following surgery, radiotherapy or immunotherapy and examine why as much as 50 per cent of squamous cell carcinoma patients will respond to immunotherapy so that more patents can potentially benefit.

While most patients diagnosed early can be successfully treated with surgery advanced squamous cell carcinoma can be a particularly devastating disease with limited treatment options outside of immunotherapy which offers advanced patients the most hope. 

Digital Spatial Profiling technology will help identify what proteins in cells cause tumours to grow as well as what causes them to respond and engage the body's immune system by providing researchers the ability to see in 3-dimensions the spatial relationship between cells of the immune system and the cancer

As well as aiming to give greater insights in treatment responses and understanding of prognosis, the study will recruit patients from several stages of cancer diagnosis, from the initial diagnosis to late stage, enabling the team to identify what proteins are expressed on the tumour and surrounding environment to predict those patients who will have a better outcome from their cancer treatment .

The fact around half of all patients with squamous cell carcinomas of the skin respond to immunotherapy, is an extremely promising sign for patients and researchers, with other cancer types such as melanoma, head and neck cancer and lung cancer seeing lower rates of patient response.

03 June 2021
Category: Research projects