Investigating the Long-term Complications Following Cancer Treatment

11 April 2017
TCRN Member David Simar

The Emerging Role of Epigenetics in Inflammation and Immunometabolism 

- The investigation of long-term complications following cancer treatment

“Our aim is to identify the mechanisms responsible for those complications, validate biological markers to inform early diagnosis and design preventive and therapeutic strategies,” said Dr David Simar, Head of the Immunometabolism group at the Mechanisms of Disease and Translational Research, School of Medical Sciences, UNSW.

David was recently invited to speak at the Clinical Epigenetics International Meeting in Düsseldorf, Germany. 

“My presentation discussed our most recent findings showing that epigenetic changes are key drivers in the development of long-term metabolic complications in cancer survivors. These novel results could not only provide biological markers that could be used as a diagnostic tool to detect survivors at risk of metabolic complications, but could also inform future therapeutic strategies to prevent or target metabolic disease in long-term cancer survivors.”

His team’s recent findings could inform future diagnostic strategies to support the early detection of cancer survivors at risk of developing metabolic diseases later in life. The responsible factors he and his team have identified could also provide new therapeutic targets, in particular considering the recent advances in the field of epigenetics.

He found the Clinical Epigenetics International Meeting invaluable. Attending this conference not only provided a great opportunity to share his team’s recent findings, but also to gain a better understanding of the recent progress in several relevant research fields.

“One of the compelling aspects of this conference is the translational nature of most of the research that was presented and discussed during the conference. Working on long-term complications, in particular chronic diseases, in cancer survivors requires a deep understanding of not only cancer research, but also of the fields of metabolism, immunology or cardiovascular research. Recent developments on the field of epigenetics have provided novel evidence supporting their role in several chronic conditions, including cancer and metabolic diseases.” 

As a member of TCRN since 2012, David has participated in the TCRN consumer workshops and found a consumer partner for his research projects. As a recipient of TCRN’s Conference and Professional Development Grants, he values the opportunity to travel.

“The TCRN Conference and Professional Development Grants is probably one of the few remaining initiatives that support researchers and clinicians to attend conferences and workshop to support their career development or efforts to broaden their network. This represents a critical initiative that fills an important gap.”