Therapeutic effects of biguanides on brain tumours

Project Details


Self-funded PhD studentship,Oct 2016-Sep 2019

This project is for a full-time, three-year PhD programme and will take place within the Cellular and Molecular Neuro-oncology Research Group, School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, commencing in September 2016. The project will build on the emerging promising potential use of metformin, a first-stage therapeutic against Type 2 Diabetes, and other related biguanide compounds, as brain tumour anti-cancer drugs. The project will commence with the synthesis of a range of biguanides, with full spectral characterisation. The efficacy of these compounds alone and in combination with temozolomide (TMZ; an established brain tumour drug) and 2-
deoxyglucose, will also be studied to further investigate reported synergistic
effects. The programme will use techniques to determine cytotoxicity, proliferation, migration, invasion, complex I activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and autophagy, together with Western Blotting and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Many of the studies reporting the effects of metformin and phenformin on gliomas have been carried out using high-passage cell lines (e.g., U87), which arguably bear little resemblance to the original cells; the proposed work will use low-passage cell lines acquired from recent biopsies, which are maintained at University of Portsmouth. Cross-referencing documented characteristics of these cells with new data concerning the effects of novel treatments will greatly contribute to this project.
Effective start/end date3/10/1630/09/19


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