Scientific image by R Lopes

Research 

Environment

Our bench-to-bedside-to-bench translational approach is achieved via broad ranging expertise and background of theme members. Molecular, cellular and vascular mechanistic studies are performed in the laboratory of Prof Touyz.

The clinical research basis comes via Dr. Lang’s dedicated cardiovascular-oncology clinic (established 2017). This is the only specialist service of its kind in Scotland and based at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (BWoSCC), the busiest cancer centre in the UK in terms of clinical activity and patient numbers as well as being the second largest cancer centre in the UK). This is the nucleus for clinical-academic collaboration and a major source for research participant recruitment. With support from the NHS, a second consultant cardiologist (Dr. Caroline Coats) now provides a dedicated cardiovascular-oncology imaging clinic (with associated research studies/trials input) in conjunction with a cardiac physiologist/echocardiographer (Mr. Alan McNairney). Clinical trials and studies take place in the state-of-the-art Clinical Research Facility (CRF) and Clinical Trials Unit at BWoSCC, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) CRF and the Imaging Centre of Excellence (also QEUH).


Training and collaboration

The theme supports clinical and non-clinical PhD and post-doctoral fellows. Collaboration is wide within ICAMS (including onco-nephrology, hypertension, heart failure, data science) and elsewhere in the University of Glasgow (including Institute of Cancer Sciences and Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and Paul O’Gorman Leukaemia Research Centre). UK collaborations are established with University of Sheffield (advanced magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] microvascular perfusion techniques), University of Manchester (rheumatology; peripheral microvascular assessments) and the University of Edinburgh (clinical translational studies; bioinformatics). International collaborations are with Mayo Clinic (clinical development, clinical research), Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam (preclinical vascular biology), McGill University, Quebec, Canada (onco-nephrology) and via the International Cardio-Oncology Society (working group for Universal Definition of Cardiovascular Toxicities).


Research focus

The theme is a component of the strategic objectives of a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Centre of Excellence Award and is well supported by further specific research grants. Current research foci include:

1) Cellular and clinical cardiovascular adverse effects of angiogenesis inhibitors. Funding: BHF Project Grant, Chief Scientist Office Scotland, Project Grant (ongoing).

2) Characterisation of vascular toxic effects of cis-platinum (cellular mechanisms and clinical effects in patients with testicular cancer. Funding: Mason Medical Research, BHF.

3) Prevention and follow-up of cardiac toxicity in women before and after therapy for breast cancer. Cardiac CARE: randomised controlled trial of troponin-guided therapy to prevent anthracycline-related cardiac toxicity in. Funding: NIHR (ongoing).

4) Investigating the long-term cardiac sequelae of trastuzumab therapy in survivors of breast cancer. Funding: Tenovus Scotland (ongoing).

5) Defining the prevalence and inflammatory consequences of clonal haematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) in patients with heart failure. Funding: BHF (ongoing).

6) Biomarker and imaging characterisation of BRAF and MEK inhibitor-induced cardiovascular toxicity (ongoing).


Pipeline projects and aims

1) To define host-tumour-therapy interactions in the cardiovascular effects of angiogenesis and PARP inhibition (pre-clinical intermediate fellowship);

2) Expansion of cardiovascular oncology clinical trials on the basis of outcomes from foci above (esp. cardiovascular protective strategies in patients treated with angiogenesis inhibitors);

3) Expansion and refinement of phenotyping and advanced cardiovascular imaging assessment of patients before, during and after cancer therapy;

4) Application and translation of evidence from above foci to inform clinical guidelines and clinical cardiovascular oncology practice (esp. via International Cardio-Oncology Society);

5) To solidify clinical-science integration and cross-institutional, national and international collaboration.