The investigation of molecular mechanisms and targeted therapies is critical to help us understand the causes of thyroid cancer, how the tumor grows and spreads, and how we can find new ways to treat advanced disease for which there is currently no cure. The deregulation of protein kinases plays a major role in promoting tumorigenesis in the majority of human cancers, including thyroid cancer, and targeting this deregulated activity has led to major breakthroughs in cancer therapy.
The goals of Dr. Rebecca Schweppe’s lab are to understand the regulation and function of deregulated kinase pathways in thyroid cancer in order to develop more effective therapies. We use translational approaches using cell lines derived from thyroid tumors to understand why some tumors are sensitive or resistant to different kinase-directed therapies, with the goal of identifying predictive biomarkers of response, and improving clinical responses. Ultimately, these studies will identify rational and more specific therapies for patients with advanced thyroid cancer.