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Full NameDr Laure Marignol
Organisation:Trinity College Dublin
- genetics, genomics and molecular biology
My research aims to generate new prognostic algorithms that detect patients at high risk of failure following radiation therapy, and design new therapeutic options that prevent tumour regrowth after radiotherapy. Our work to date has largely focused on prostate cancer. We have successfully generated an isogenic model of radioresistant prostate cancer (McDermott et al. Nature Scientific Reports 2016) and are using this model to identify new markers of radioresistance (McDermott et al. Clin Trans Rad Onc 2017). Our lab is now expanding to the prediction of the radioresponse of lung tumours (Barrett et al. Radioth Oncol 2018).
The issue of sex bias or sex dismorphism in science is rapidly gaining momentum. Sex is a variable that affects several biological functions including both the innate and adaptive immune systems, the mode of stress-induced cell death and pain responses. Sex-specific studies have highlighted that drugs may affect males and females differently. But the impact of sex on the radiation response remains largely unstudied.
A PhD candidate may consider a research project investigating the impact of sex as a biological variable in the response of lung cancer to radiotherapy and importantly to the combination of immunotherapy with radiotherapy. This work would involve the generation of in vitro radiation survival curves using both female and male lung (non small cell) cancer cell lines, the review of published and recorded clinical data, and a solid evaluation of the potential sex-specific differences in the radioresponse of (non small cell) lung cancer cells. This project offers a successful candidate a unique opportunity to pioneer the incorporation of sex as biological variable in radiation oncology and highlight the need to implement the guidelines developed by the US National Institute of Health.