Dr Carsten Hansen was awarded funding during our 'Strictly Research' competition as part of our 2017 Bone Cancer Conference

Dr Carsten Hansen was recently awarded the Chancellor’s Fellowship and a PhD studentship with The University of Edinburgh. This award allowed Dr Hansen to set up his laboratory and collect data to take forward into his ‘Strictly Research’ project. The results gained from this project with the Bone Cancer Research Trust will form the basis of his PhD studentship, which has the ultimate aim of developing new treatments for osteosarcoma patients.

Dr Hansen’s research focuses on the increased pressure that builds inside a tumour mass. This increased pressure is known to affect a number of processes in the cancer cells and negatively affect the delivery of chemotherapy drugs to the tumour due to the compressing of blood vessels these drugs are delivered by. Ultimately, this increased pressure has a direct effect on the behaviour of cancer cells and has been seen too lead to increased growth, lowered cell death and the increased possibility of the spread of these tumour cells to other areas of the body. The reasoning behind these effects is not certain, but it is thought that the increased pressure affects a cellular signalling pathway known as the Hippo pathway.

Previous research has shown the Hippo pathway to be highly altered in osteosarcoma and its activity to relate to effects on the cancers behaviour in terms of growth, cell death and chemotherapy delivery. Dr Hansen will investigate the Hippo pathway in great detail and investigate how increases in tumour pressure alter this pathway and its downstream effects. Should the hypothesis of this research project be correct, this work will highlight areas of the Hippo pathway that may be targeted to prevent the effects seen when pressure in an osteosarcoma tumour increases.

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