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Full NameProfessor David Gonzalez de Castro

Department:Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB)

Organisation:Queen's University Belfast

Email Address:Email hidden; Javascript is required.

Research Fields

  • genetics, genomics and molecular biology
  • cancer/oncology

Postgrad Medical Specialties

  • Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Paediatrics
  • Pathology

Medical Subspecialties

  • Clinical Trials
  • Haematology
  • Health Informatics
  • Immunology
  • Oncology

My Work

Our research activity is focused on the far end of translational cancer research and it primarily involves the application of molecular pathology and genomic analyses in the clinical setting as a diagnostic, predictive and prognostic tool as well as minimal residual disease monitoring in haematological malignancies and solid tumours, including GI, Lung, Sarcoma, Haemato-Oncology, Paediatrics, Breast, Gynaecology and Head and Neck, amongst others. In many cases this research involves the study of molecular biomarkers in retrospective and prospective clinical trials as well as validation of markers for diagnostic use.

I have been involved in several national projects around molecular stratification of cancer, including CRUK’s Stratified Medicine Programme, the Lung National Matrix Trial and NHSE’s 100KG programme. I am a member of the EuroClonality Consortium and I am particularly interested in the clinical development immunogenomic tools to diagnose and characterise lymphoproliferative disorders and investigate the B and T cell repertoire in relation to novel immuno-oncology therapeutics.

Most recent publications:
1. Moorcraft SY, Jones T, Walker BA et al. Molecular profiling of colorectal pulmonary metastases and primary tumours: implications for targeted treatment. Oncotarget. 2017 Apr 11
2. Langerak AW, Brüggemann M, Davi F et al.; EuroClonality-NGS Consortium. High-Throughput Immunogenetics for Clinical and Research Applications in Immunohematology: Potential and Challenges. J Immunol. 2017 Apr 17.
3. Smyth EC, Wotherspoon A, Peckitt C et al. Mismatch Repair Deficiency, Microsatellite Instability, and Survival : An Exploratory Analysis of the Medical Research Council Adjuvant Gastric Infusional Chemotherapy (MAGIC) Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2017 Feb 23.
4. Noujaim J, Jones RL, Swansbury J et al. The spectrum of EWSR1-rearranged neoplasms at a tertiary sarcoma centre; assessing 772 tumour specimens and the value of current ancillary molecular diagnostic modalities. Br J Cancer. 2017 Jan 31
5. Litchfield K, Levy M, Dudakia D et al. Rare disruptive mutations in ciliary function genes contribute to testicular cancer susceptibility. Nat Commun. 2016 Dec 20;7:13840.
6. Wren D, Walker BA, Bruggemann M et al. Comprehensive translocation and clonality detection in lymphoproliferative disorders by next generation sequencing. Haematologica. 2017 Feb;102(2):e57-e60
7. Hiley CT, Le Quesne J, Santis G et al. Challenges in molecular testing in non-small-cell lung cancer patients with advanced disease. Lancet. 2016 Sep 3;388(10048):1002-11.
8. Sclafani F, Chau I, Cunningham D et al. Sequence Variation in Mature MicroRNA-608 and benefit from neo-adjuvant treatment in locally advanced rectal cancer patients. Carcinogenesis. 2016 Sep;37(9):852-7

Potential Projects

We are keen to discuss projects with potential PhD students in relation to the following areas:

• Genomic characterisation of tumours (either solid tumour or haematological)
• Applications of circulating tumour DNA in cancer management (including diagnosis, risk-stratification and disease monitoring)
• Immunogenetics analysis of response to immunotherapies

All potential projects will be underpinned by a clear translational context, either biomarker analysis associated to clinical trials or clinical implementation and evaluation.