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Otago Medical School staff profiles

Associate Professor Margaret Currie

PositionResearch Associate Professor
DepartmentDepartment of Pathology and Biomedical Science (Christchurch)
QualificationsMSc PhD
Research summaryCancer research

Research

I am interested in how the tumour microenvironment affects tumour growth, tumour cell metastasis and tumour response to therapy. The local tumour microenvironment is the milieu within which the tumour develops, and includes tumour blood vessels, other cells types (e.g. immune cells, fibroblasts, adipocytes), soluble growth factors and signalling molecules. All the various components of the tumour microenvironment can influence tumour growth and spread and, conversely, tumour cells can influence the local tumour microenvironment. A further layer of complexity exists because the wider tumour microenvironment (i.e. the body within which the tumour develops) alters with age and health, and is affected by systemic changes in metabolism, hormones and immunity.

Our group has been investigating the contribution of stromal cells and the tumour microenvironment to human tumour biology since the inception of our research group in 1998. Initially, our research focused on tumour blood vessel development and anti-angiogenic therapies. However, since 2009 my interests have expanded to include the contribution to tumour progression made by tumour infiltrating immune cell populations, breast cancer stem cell-like populations, and obesity-related factors.

Publications

Lattimore, V. L., Pearson, J. F., Morley-Bunker, A. E., kConFab Investigators, Spurdle, A. B., Robinson, B. A., Currie, M. J., & Walker, L. C. (2019). Quantifying BRCA1 and BRCA2 mRNA isoform expression levels in single cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(3), 693. doi: 10.3390/ijms20030693

Richardson, A. K., Walker, L. C., Cox, B., Rollag, H., Robinson, B. A., Morrin, H., Pearson, J. F., … Currie, M. J. (2019). Breast cancer and cytomegalovirus. Clinical & Translational Oncology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12094-019-02164-1

Morley-Bunker, A., Pearson, J., Currie, M. J., Morrin, H., Whitehead, M. R., Eglinton, T., & Walker, L. C. (2019). Assessment of intra-tumoural colorectal cancer prognostic biomarkers using RNA in situ hybridisation. Oncotarget, 10(14), 1425-1439. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.26675

Buss, L. A., Mandani, A., Phillips, E., Scott, N. J. A., Currie, M. J., & Dachs, G. U. (2018). Characterisation of a mouse model of breast cancer with metabolic syndrome. In Vivo, 32(5), 1071-1080. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11348

Ang, A., Pullar, J. M., Currie, M. J., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2018). Vitamin C and immune cell function in inflammation and cancer [Review]. Biochemical Society Transactions. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1042/bst20180169

Journal - Research Article

Lattimore, V. L., Pearson, J. F., Morley-Bunker, A. E., kConFab Investigators, Spurdle, A. B., Robinson, B. A., Currie, M. J., & Walker, L. C. (2019). Quantifying BRCA1 and BRCA2 mRNA isoform expression levels in single cells. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(3), 693. doi: 10.3390/ijms20030693

Morley-Bunker, A., Pearson, J., Currie, M. J., Morrin, H., Whitehead, M. R., Eglinton, T., & Walker, L. C. (2019). Assessment of intra-tumoural colorectal cancer prognostic biomarkers using RNA in situ hybridisation. Oncotarget, 10(14), 1425-1439. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.26675

Richardson, A. K., Walker, L. C., Cox, B., Rollag, H., Robinson, B. A., Morrin, H., Pearson, J. F., … Currie, M. J. (2019). Breast cancer and cytomegalovirus. Clinical & Translational Oncology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12094-019-02164-1

Buss, L. A., Mandani, A., Phillips, E., Scott, N. J. A., Currie, M. J., & Dachs, G. U. (2018). Characterisation of a mouse model of breast cancer with metabolic syndrome. In Vivo, 32(5), 1071-1080. doi: 10.21873/invivo.11348

Ang, A., Pullar, J. M., Currie, M. J., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2018). Vitamin C and immune cell function in inflammation and cancer [Review]. Biochemical Society Transactions. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1042/bst20180169

Lattimore, V. L., Pearson, J. F., Currie, M. J., Spurdle, A. B., kConFab Investigators, Robinson, B. A., & Walker, L. C. (2018). Investigation of experimental factors that underlie BRCA1/2 mRNA isoform expression variation: Recommendations for utilising targeted RNA sequencing to evaluate potential spliceogenic variants. Frontiers in Oncology, 8, 140. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2018.00140

Robinson, B., Currie, M., Phillips, E., Dachs, G., Strother, M., Morrin, H., Davey, V., & Frampton, C. (2017). Body mass index (BMI): Association with clinicopathological factors and outcome of women with newly diagnosed breast cancer in New Zealand. New Zealand Medical Journal, 130(1451), 46-56. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Seddon, A., Hock, B., Miller, A., Frei, L., Pearson, J., McKenzie, J., Simcock, J., & Currie, M. (2016). Cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas with markers of increased metastatic risk are associated with elevated numbers of neutrophils and/or granulocytic myeloid derived suppressor cells. Journal of Dermatological Science, 83(2), 124-130. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2016.04.013

Morley-Bunker, A., Walker, L. C., Currie, M. J., Pearson, J., & Eglinton, T. (2016). Translating colorectal cancer genetics into clinically useful biomarkers. Colorectal Disease, 18(8), 749-762. doi: 10.1111/codi.13334

Royds, J. A., Pilbrow, A. P., Morrin, H. R., Frampton, C., Russell, I. A., Moravec, C. S., … Currie, M. J., Hung, N. A., & Slatter, T. L. (2016). The rs11515 polymorphism is more frequent and associated with aggressive breast tumors with increased ANRIL and decreased p16INK4a expression. Frontiers in Oncology, 5, 306. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2015.00306

Hock, B. D., McKenzie, J. L., Cross, N. B., & Currie, M. J. (2015). Dynamic changes in myeloid derived suppressor cell subsets following renal transplant: A prospective study. Transplant Immunology, 32(3), 164-171. doi: 10.1016/j.trim.2015.05.001

Dachs, G. U., Phillips, E., Phung, Y., Dyer, A., Willis, J. A., Currie, M. J., & Robinson, B. A. (2015). Tumour growth in mice resistant to diet-induced obesity. Journal of Molecular Biochemistry, 4(2), 42-49.

Richardson, A. K., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Morrin, H., Phung, Y., Pearson, J. F., … Walker, L. C. (2015). Cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr Virus in breast cancer. PLoS ONE, 10(2), e0118989. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0118989

Volkova, E., Robinson, B. A., Willis, J., Currie, M. J., & Dachs, G. U. (2014). Marginal effects of glucose, insulin and insulin-like growth factor on chemotherapy response in endothelial and colorectal cancer cells. Oncology Letters, 7(2), 311-320. doi: 10.3892/ol.2013.1710

Kuiper, C., Dachs, G. U., Currie, M. J., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2014). Intracellular ascorbate enhances hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-hydroxylase activity and preferentially suppresses the HIF-1 transcriptional response. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 69, 308-317. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2014.01.033

Kuiper, C., Dachs, G. U., Munn, D., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Pearson, J. F., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2014). Increased tumour ascorbate is associated with extended disease-free survival and decreased hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activation in human colorectal cancer. Frontiers in Oncology, 4, 10. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00010

Currie, M. J., Beardsley, B. E., Harris, G. C., Gunningham, S. P., Dachs, G. U., Dijkstra, B., Morrin, H. R., Wells, J. E., & Robinson, B. A. (2013). Immunohistochemical analysis of cancer stem cell markers in invasive breast carcinoma and associated ductal carcinoma in situ: Relationships with markers of tumor hypoxia and microvascularity. Human Pathology, 44(3), 402-411. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2012.06.004

Hunt, M. A., Li, D., Hay, M. P., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Patterson, A. V., & Dachs, G. U. (2012). Characterisation of enzyme prodrug gene therapy combinations in coated spheroids and vascular networks in vitro. Journal of Gene Medicine, 14(1), 62-74. doi: 10.1002/jgm.1635

Hock, B. D., Mackenzie, K. A., Cross, N. B., Taylor, K. G., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., Simcock, J. W., & McKenzie, J. L. (2012). Renal transplant recipients have elevated frequencies of circulating myeloid-derived suppressor cells. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 27(1), 402-410. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfr264

Volkova, E., Willis, J. A., Wells, J. E., Robinson, B. A., Dachs, G. U., & Currie, M. J. (2011). Association of angiopoietin-2, C-reactive protein and markers of obesity and insulin resistance with survival outcome in colorectal cancer. British Journal of Cancer, 104, 51-59. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6606005

Pflüger, H.-J., Field, L. H., Nishino, H., & Currie, M. J. (2011). Neuromodulatory unpaired median neurons in the New Zealand tree weta, Hemideina femorata. Journal of Insect Physiology, 57(10), 1420-1430. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2011.07.010

MacKenzie, K. A., Miller, A. P., Hock, B. D., Gardner, J., Simcock, J. W., Roake, J. A., Dachs, G. U., Robinson, B. A., & Currie, M. J. (2011). Angiogenesis and host immune response contribute to the aggressive character of non-melanoma skin cancers in renal transplant recipients. Histopathology, 58(6), 875-885. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2011.03845.x

Kuiper, C., Molenaar, I. G. M., Dachs, G. U., Currie, M. J., Sykes, P. H., & Vissers, M. C. M. (2010). Low ascorbate levels are associated with increased hypoxia-inducible factor-1 activity and an aggressive tumor phenotype in endometrial cancer. Cancer Research, 70(14), 5749-5758. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-0263

Hunt, M. A., Currie, M. J., Robinson, B. A., & Dachs, G. U. (2010). Optimizing transfection of primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells using commercially available chemical transfection reagents. Journal of Biomolecular Techniques, 21, 66-72.

Dachs, G. U., Kano, M., Volkova, E., Morrin, H. R., Davey, V. C. L., Harris, G. C., … Frampton, C., Currie, M. J., Wells, J. E., & Robinson, B. A. (2010). A profile of prognostic and molecular factors in European and Māori breast cancer patients. BMC Cancer, 10, 543. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-10-543

Mackenzie, K. A., Wells, J. E., Lynn, K. L., Simcock, J. W., Robinson, B. A., Roake, J. A., & Currie, M. J. (2010). First and subsequent nonmelanoma skin cancers: Incidence and predictors in a population of New Zealand renal transplant recipients. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, 25, 300-306. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfp482

Dachs, G. U., Currie, M. J., Mckenzie, F., Jeffreys, M., Cox, B., Foliaki, S., … Robinson, B. A. (2008). Cancer disparities in indigenous Polynesian populations: Māori, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific people. Lancet Oncology, 9(5), 473-484. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(08)70127-X

Vissers, M. C. M., Gunningham, S. P., Morrison, M. J., Dachs, G. U., & Currie, M. J. (2007). Modulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha in cultured primary cells by intracellular ascorbate. Free Radical Biology & Medicine, 42, 765-772.

Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Morrin, H. R., Tan, E. Y., Turley, H., Dachs, G. U., Watson, A. I., Frampton, C., Robinson, B. A., & Fox, S. B. (2007). The angiogenic factor thymidine phosphorylase up-regulates the cell adhesion molecule P-selectin in human vascular endothelial cells and is asociated with P-selectin expression in breast cancers. Journal of Pathology, 212, 335-344.

Jarvis, M. D., Rademaker, M. T., Ellmers, L. J., Currie, M. J., McKenzie, J. L., Palmer, B. R., Frampton, C. M., Richards, A. M., & Cameron, V. A. (2006). Comparison of infarct-derived and control ovine cardiac myofibroblasts in culture: Response to cytokines and natriuretic peptide receptor expression profiles. American Journal of Physiology: Heart & Circulatory Physiology, 291, H1952-H1958. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00764.2005

Dachs, G. U., Steele, A. J., Coralli, C., Kanthou, C., Brooks, A. C., Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Watson, A. I., Robinson, B. A., & Tozer, G. M. (2006). Anti-vascular agent Combretastatin A-4-P modulates hypoxia inducible factor-I and gene expression. BMC Cancer, 6, 280. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-6-280

Currie, M. J., Hanrahan, V., Gunningham, S. P., Morrin, H. R., Frampton, C., Han, C., Robinson, B. A., & Fox, S. B. (2005). Expression of HIF-1α in human tumours. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 58, 335-336.

Morrin, H., Gunningham, S., Currie, M., Dachs, G., Fox, S., & Robinson, B. (2005). The Christchurch Tissue Bank to support cancer research. New Zealand Medical Journal, 118(1225). Retrieved from http://journal.nzma.org.nz/journal/118-1225/1735/content.pdf

Currie, M., Hanrahan, V., Gunningham, S. P., Morrin, H. R., Frampton, C., Han, C., Robinson, B. A., & Fox, S. B. (2004). Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor D is associated with hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-1α) and the HIF-1α target gene DEC1, but not lymph node metastasis in primary human breast carcinomas. Journal of Clinical Pathology, 57, 829-834.

Hanrahan, V., Currie, M., Gunningham, S. P., Morrin, H., Scott, P. A. E., Robinson, B. A., & Fox, S. B. (2003). The angiogenic switch for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence during colorectal cancer progression. Journal of Pathology, 200(2), 183-194.

Currie, M., Gunningham, S. P., Cheng, H., Robinson, B. A., Scott, P. A. E., Harris, A. L., & Fox, S. B. (2002). Expression of the angiopoietins and their receptor Tie2 in human renal clear cell carcinomas; Regulation by the von Hippel-Lindau gene and hypoxia. Journal of Pathology, 198, 502-510.

Currie, M., Gunningham, S. P., Han, C., Scott, P. A. E., Robinson, B. A., Harris, A., & Fox, S. B. (2001). Angiopoietin-1 is inversely related to thymidine phosphorylase expression in human breast cancer, indicating a role in vascular remodeling. Clinical Cancer Research, 7(4), 918-927.

Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Han, C., Robinson, B. A., Scott, P. A. E., Harris, A. L., & Fox, S. B. (2001). VEGF-B expression in human primary breast cancers is associated with lymph node metastasis but not angiogenesis. Journal of Pathology, 193(3), 325-332.

Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Han, C., Turner, K. S., Scott, P. A. E., Robinson, B. A., … Fox, S. B. (2001). Vascular endothelial growth factor-B and vascular endothelial growth factor-C expression in renal cell carcinomas: Regulation by the von Hippel-Lindau gene and hypoxia. Cancer Research, 61(7), 3206-3211.

Gunningham, S. P., Currie, M. J., Han, C., Robinson, B. A., Scott, P. A. E., Harris, A. L., & Fox, S. B. (2000). The short form of the alternatively spliced flt-4 but not its ligand vascular endothelial growth factor C is related to lymph node metastasis in human breast cancers. Clinical Cancer Research, 6(11), 4278-4286.

Currie, M. J., Bassett, N. S., & Gluckman, P. D. (1997). Ovine glucose transporter - 1 and 3: DNA partial sequences and development gene expression in the placenta. Placenta, 18, 393-401.

Bassett, N. S., Currie, M., Breier, B. H., Klempt, M., Min, S. H., McCutcheon, S. N., … Gluckman, P. (1997). The effects of ovine placental bitogen and bovine growth hormone on hepatic and mammary gene expression in lactating sheep. Growth Hormone & IGF Research, 8(6), 439-446.

Currie, M., Bassett, N. S., & Gluckman, P. (1997). Ovine glucose transporter - 1 and 3: DNA partial sequences and development gene expression in the placenta. Placenta, 18, 393-491.

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Journal - Research Other

Lattimore, V., Currie, M., Lintott, C., Sullivan, J., Robinson, B. A., & Walker, L. C. (2015). Meeting the challenges of interpreting variants of unknown clinical significance in BRCA testing. New Zealand Medical Journal, 128(1419). Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Mackenzie, K. A., Simcock, J. W., Lainchbury, J. G., Currie, M. J., & Lynn, K. L. (2009). Myocardial metastasis of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in a renal transplant recipient [Case report]. Transplantation Proceedings, 41(10), 4414-4415. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.09.056

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