About Ultan McDermott
Dr Ultan McDermott and his team at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge are studying a molecule called ALK that is faulty in some types of lymphoma and lung cancer, and in some cases of neuroblastoma (a type of nerve cancer in children). Drugs targeting ALK are currently being tested in clinical trials, but researchers have found that cancers can quickly develop resistance to the drugs and start growing again.
Dr McDermott and his group are analysing the gene faults in cancer cells growing in the lab that have become resistant to a particular drug that targets ALK. They will then test tumour samples from patients who are taking ALK-targeting drugs, to see if their cancer cells have developed resistance in the same way.
Understanding how cancers stop responding to ALK-targeting drugs might lead to ways of overcoming this resistance in the future, helping to improve survival and bring benefits to patients.
Other research projects by Ultan McDermott
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow-Cancer Research UK Fellowship: Modelling resistance to anaplastic lymphoma kinase inhibitors and exploring novel therapeutic strategies
Funding period: 01 January 2010 to 31 December 2013