[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/234712]
A/Pr Martin Lackmann
E/Pr Andrew Boyd
Prof Andrew Scott
Brief description Metastatic disease, malignant melanoma in particular, is a health issue of considerable global importance with 1,000 fatal melanoma cases- year in Australia alone. While progress has been made on prevention and early diagnosis, no curative treatment exists for stage IV melanoma. Tumour progression and the acquisition of metastatic competence primarily reflect dysregulation of cell adhesion and cell motility rather than proliferation and survival. In this context, Eph receptor tyrosine kinases (Ephs) and their membrane-bound ephrin ligands are crucial mediators of cell adhesion and motility and are notably overexpressed in metastatic tumours rather than primary (benign) lesions5. Our laboratories were the first to identify EphA3 7, and one of the first to isolate its ligand, ephrin-A5. EphA3 was isolated from acute lymphoblastoid leukemia and malignant melanoma patients, where increasing expression levels correlate with metastatic progression. Soluble, non-clustered forms of Ephs and ephrins are effective inhibitors of Eph activity 3 and provide opportunities to generate specific drugs for cancer therapy. We now propose a research and development program for the development of EphA3-specific drugs and their production for pre-clinical and clinical evaluation for placement onto a national and international market.
Funding Amount $AUD 200,000.00
Funding Scheme NHMRC Development Grants