University College London
Dr Hayley Whitaker
Dr Hayley Whitaker and her team have identified a protein, BI-010, that is raised in cholangiocarcinoma but not in inflammatory cells or normal cells. They have so far produced large amounts of pure protein which will allow the development of a test to detect BI-010 in blood.
All of the preliminary work was using cholangiocarcinoma tissue that had been surgically removed. However, the team want to develop a test to improve the speed and accuracy of cholangiocarcinoma diagnosis so they now plan to test BI-010 on biliary brushings that are normally used for diagnosis, and this work is ongoing.
The team also think that BI-010 might have potential to be targeted as a treatment for cholangiocarcinoma using antibodies, just like Herceptin targets Her2 in breast cancer. Some preliminary validation work is being done to confirm this exciting new arm of the project.
AMMF has supported this team in their work in Cambridge, and now at University College London, where the charity is also funding a Research Fellow, Dr Jonathan Kay, who is working on this project.