Prof Karen Blyth - In Vivo Cancer Biology


In vivo models are an important tool to recapitulate human cancer and interrogate aspects of the disease within a biological context. Validating in vitro discoveries in physiologically relevant models in this way will expedite novel therapeutic approaches for patient benefit. The group has expertise in modelling different cancer types but has a specific interest in breast cancer, and how metabolic pathways and certain signalling nodes such as the RUNX/CBFβ transcriptional complex and pro-survival factor MCL-1, contribute to tumour progression and metastasis.

The RUNX genes are essential regulators in mammalian development, most notably for bone and blood cell lineages. Like many genes important for normal development, the RUNX genes are linked to human cancer, but interestingly have been found to both promote and suppress tumour formation, a paradox we are exploring. We have shown that high expression of RUNX1 and RUNX2 in breast cancer correlates with specific subtypes of the disease and with poorer patient prognosis. We are now investigating the functionality of these genes in epithelial cancers and have shown that RUNX2 has a role in mammary stem/progenitor cells.

Other funding:

    BreastCancerNow 2020          MRC NMGN