Group Leader, Tumour Microenvironment, QMIR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Dr. Andreas Möller is Senior Research Fellow at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Head of the Tumour Microenvironment Laboratory, and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland, and the School of Biomedical Science at the Queensland University of Technology. He joined the QIMR Berghofer in November 2012 after being Peter Mac Research Fellow at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne. He conducted his doctoral work at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and an initial postdoc at the University of Berne, Switzerland. His research theme involves the fields of cancer immunology, cancer biology, nanotechnology and metastasis. Dr. Möller is heading a research team consisting of 3 Postdocs and 3 PhD students.
Presentation Title: Prognostication of lung cancer patients based on blood-based exosome content
Despite significant therapeutic advances, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients have a very poor overall five-year survival rate. While advanced stages have a 5-year survival of 1%, early stage patients have a 5-year survival of up to 60%. Currently, pathology-based TNM staging is the gold standard for predicting overall survival and selecting the optimum initial treatment options in NSCLC patients. However, many patients with locoregionally-confined NSCLC relapse and die despite curative-intent interventions. A key unmet clinical need therefore is the identification how a cancer patient will respond to therapeutic interventions, and most importantly, if these
treatments are curative. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the phenotypic depolarisation of epithelial cells to elongated mesenchymal cells, is associated with metastatic and
treatment refractive cancer. We demonstrate that EMT-induced protein changes in exosomes are detectable in NSCLC patients and have prognostic significance independent to TNM staging. Overall, this work describes a novel prognostic biomarker signature to identify early stage NSCLC patients at risk of developing metastatic NSCLC, thereby enabling implementation of personalised adjuvant treatment decisions.