Our national position in this field is recognised by a substantial role for Birmingham researchers in the NIHR NOCRI Translational Research Collaboration ‘Endocrine Neoplasia’.
Ongoing research has a particular focus on the pathogenesis of thyroid cancer, delineating the roles of Pituitary Tumour Transforming Gene (PTTG) and its binding factor PBF. The translational impact of our work on the management of thyroid tumours was also recognised by a recent major NIHR HTA grant on novel diagnostic approaches to thyroid nodules. PTTG also has a broader relevance in cancer biology, highlighted by recent publications on the role of PTTG in other solid organ tumours including breast cancer, and we also have an active research programme on the role of steroid sulfatase inhibition in colon cancer.
Supported by an MRC Biomarker Strategic Grant and drawing from our strength in steroid analysis, we have pioneered a novel diagnostic approach to adrenal tumours, steroid metabolomics, combining mass spectrometry-based steroid profiling with machine learning-based computational data analysis; a prospective validation of this highly sensitive and specific test is currently pump-primed through the EU FP7 consortium ENSAT-CANCER.