Professor Flanagan is considered a leading expert in the field of chordoma research, both in the UK and internationally. Chordoma is a primary cancer of the bone that occurs in people of all ages. Due to the size, location and nature of these tumours, surgeons can often find them difficult to remove fully. Despite this, surgery is the mainstay of treatment because the tumours are resistant to radio- and chemotherapy. This project is undertaking lab-based experiments to identify new therapies to treat this disease. Professor Flanagan and her team have made 5 chordoma cell lines (chordomas that grow in the laboratory and can be used as models of the disease). Thanks to these efforts, the scientific community now has the opportunity for the first time to test compounds on a number of chordoma cell lines to see if there is a drug that can stop the tumours growing.
They will study the effects of approximately 1000 different compounds on the 5 cell lines they have created, and on a further 3 chordoma cell lines that others have made. Any compounds that look promising will be tested in various ways using forefront technology. They hope to find a small number of ‘hits’ that will stop the tumours growing, and this will lead to clinical trials where drugs related to the successful compounds could be used in the treatment of chordoma patients.
The discovery of compounds that stop chordoma growth, leading to the development of drugs and clinical trials for the treatment of chordoma patients.
- Scheipl, A. et al. (2016) EGFR inhibitors identified as a potential treatment for chordoma in a focused compound screen. Journal of Pathology, 239(3). Read more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27102572
Presentations & Workshops
- Scheipl, A. et al. EGFR inhibitors identified as a potential treatment for chordoma in a focused compound screen. Presentation given at the European Musculo-Skeletal Oncology Society (EMSOS). May, 2016. La Baule, France.
- Clinical trial run using Afatinib for patients with chordoma. 2016.