Dr Cunliffe’s research focuses on the discovery and validation of biomarkers that will impact therapeutic decision-making, and improve treatment outcomes for patients with breast or ovarian cancer.
Following more than a decade of high-resolution genomic surveys of patient tumour samples by many groups, Heather’s research now recognises that there are distinct disease subtypes sharing key underlying biology, and perhaps not surprisingly, more predictable responses to targeted agents. Modern technologies have ushered in a new era of precision medicine, revolutionizing approaches to diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy. The success of evidence-based treatment is also now influential in clinical trial design, with key insights gained through correlative molecular studies.
The Cunliffe group leverages genomic technologies, laboratory models and clinical specimens to dissect and understand the molecular basis of disease onset and progression in aggressive cancer subtypes. Strategies are translational, with goals to integrate discoveries in the form of diagnostic, prognostic and predictive measures.
Focused areas of disease research include small cell ovarian cancer, platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, triple negative breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer.