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Dr Manuel Altamirano-Dimas

Dr Manuel Altamirano-Dimas


  • Research Fellow, Vancouver Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia


Dr Altamirano-Dimas is a Research Fellow working in prostate cancer research at Dr Michael E Cox's laboratory, performing bioinformatics analysis is several studies. Dr Cox's lab’s projects include the response of prostate cancer to growth factors during development of castration-resistant prostate cancer, under the influence of insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and kinase signalling. In collaboration with colleagues from Antisence Therapeutics, Melbourne, Australia, they are assessing the use of antisense therapeutic modalities targeting the IGF axis to see how these agents, alone or in combination with conventional chemotherapeutic agents, impact growth and survival signalling in androgen-dependent and CRPC model.

While the cause of prostate cancer is unknown, the fusion of TMPRSS2 with members of the ETS family, including ETV1 and mainly ERG, have been found frequently in prostate cancer patients, and is associated with poor prognosis, specifically if there is mutation in PTEN. They have developed a panel of lineage-matched non-transformed and ERG transformed prostatic epithelial cell lines, and are testing the hypothesis that aberrant ERG expression consistently reprograms gene expression patterns in prostatic epithelial cells causing transformation, accelerated growth, invasion and enhanced metastatic potential.

They are assessing how, in normal prostate epithelial cells, ERG induces expression of stem cells through epigenetic modifications that lead to genetic changes which in turn lead to down regulation of tumour suppressor genes. The modified system has neoplastic characteristics, including cell proliferation, invasion, and is associated with alterations in the androgen receptor signalling. These studies will set the benchmark for understanding how ERG causes prostate cancer and identify diagnostic and therapeutic targets.

Current Areas of Collaboration: Micro arrays-Next Generation Sequencing-Prostate Cancer Prognosis.

bioinformatics, cancer progression, endogenous factors, epigenetics, genes/genetic polymorphisms, localized therapies, marker discovery, metastases, oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes, scientific model systems, systemic therapies, technology development.

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