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The role of cancer-derived exosomal microRNAs in tumour progression

The role of cancer-derived exosomal microRNAs in tumour progression

Based at Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road
Supervised by Dr Matthew Murray


This project aims to define the biological and clinical importance of exosomes released by cancer cells, using malignant germ cell tumours (GCTs) as a model system. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles <120nm diameter that are emerging as an exciting new class of cancer therapeutic targets and diagnostic markers. The student will study the contributions of exosomes to GCT behaviour, including invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis. He/she will initially determine the effects on host cells in the tumour microenvironment, including macrophages, fibroblasts and endothelium. Functionally significant exosome cargo, including microRNAs, will be identified by next-generation sequencing, followed by gene depletion or over-expression.

Recent Publications:

Murray MJ, Bell E, Raby K, Rijlaarsdam M, Gillis A, Looijenga LH, Brown H, Destenaves B, Nicholson JC, Coleman N. A pipeline to quantify serum and cerebrospinal fluid microRNAs for diagnosis and detection of relapse in paediatric malignant germ cell tumours. British Journal of Cancer, 2015, In Press


Shaikh F, Murray MJ, Amatruda JF, Coleman N,  Nicholson JC, Hale JPH, Pashankar F, Stoneham SJ, Poynter JN, Olson TA, Billmire DF, Stark D, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Frazier AL. Paediatric extracranial germ cell tumours. Lancet Oncology, 2015, In Press.


Murray MJ, Raby KL, Saini HK, Bailey S, Wool SV, Tunnacliffe JM, Enright AJ, Nicholson JC, Coleman N. Solid tumours of childhood display specific serum microRNA profiles. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2015;24:350-60


Murray MJ, Bartels U, Nishikawa R, Fangusaro J, Matsutani M, Nicholson JC. Consensus in the management of intracranial germ-cell tumours. Lancet Oncology, 2015;16:e470-7.


Olson TA, Murray MJ, Rodriguez-Galindo C, Nicholson JC, Billmire DF, Krailo MD, et al. Pediatric and Adolescent Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors - The Road to Collaboration. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2015;33:3018-3028