Dr. Lukas Orre
Our general aim is to identify novel biomarkers and targets for cancer therapy to improve the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). To accomplish this we are developing and applying advanced methods to study the effects of cancer therapy. We are specifically interested in therapies targeting receptor tyrosine kinases such as the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). By determining the molecular response of cancer cells to different drugs we can identify the determinants of drug response or drug resistance, allowing us to suggest biomarkers and drug combinations for improved lung cancer therapy. The expression and functions of proteins in a cell determine its phenotype, i.e. the characteristics of the cell. For example the expression and functional activity of proteins in a cell will determine if a cell is cancerous or not, and whether it is sensitive to a specific type of treatment. Proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins in biological systems. The proteomics concept can be further developed into functional proteomics where the ambition is to also describe the functional state of proteins in large-scale experiments. For this purpose we are developing and applying proteomics methods that generate information about protein activity (e.g. phosphorylation), protein complex formation, and protein subcellular location. All of this data is then used in concert to understand why cells from different tumors respond differently to cancer drugs, and what combinations of cancer therapies we should select for each patient. Ultimately this knowledge will help us tailor the best therapy for each lung cancer patient.