Pediatric Cancer Drivers: From Target Discovery to Clinical Translation

This research cluster, a joint initiative between the Sorensen Lab at UBC and the Morin Lab at SFU with a number of key partners, involves a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the role of genetic changes in individual types of pediatric cancer, and how we might use this information to design better treatments for these diseases.

A Study of the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Pediatric Medulloblastoma Mediated By YB-1

Medulloblastoma is the most common form of pediatric brain cancer with a five-year survival rate of approximately 70%, yet for some children’s survival is as low as 40%. Many of the treatment options for these patients may be effective in extending the five-year survival rate, however, quality of life issues still persist for these young patients including learning and developmental deficits. These side effects arise from damage to normal tissue in the developing brain by surgery and/or drug and radiation therapy.

Investigation into the role of YB-1 in childhood sarcomas

Metastatic tumors are a major concern in childhood cancer and the single most prominent cause of patient mortality. Metastasis is a complex process involving several cellular processes, each of which involves numerous extra and intracellular events. Therapeutic targeting strategies are hampered by a large degree of redundancy in the systems controlling metastatic behaviour and by the lack of specific markers associated with tumor dissemination.

Role of ROS regulation by Hace1 in modulating “stemness” versus differentiation of stem cells

The Sorensen laboratory-based Childhood Cancer Research Program is specifically focused on elucidating the genetic and biological determinants of the metastatic process in childhood cancer. Metastatic disease remains the single most dominant driver of adverse outcome in most childhood cancers, particularly in childhood sarcomas. Cancer stem cells, malignant cells that share many characteristics with normal stem cells, have been implicated to have a central role in the metastatic process.

Understanding Stress Signaling in Childhood Cancers: ROS signaling pathways

The Sorensen laboratory-based Childhood Cancer Research Program is specifically focused on elucidating the genetic and biological determinants of the metastatic process in childhood cancer. Metastatic disease remains the single most dominant driver of adverse outcome in most childhood cancers, particularly in childhood sarcomas. There are two basic strategies in the program for studying metastatic disease in childhood cancers. The first is to focus on cell stress signaling.