Antonin Serrano - Immunology division

Antonin Serrano - Immunology division

Start Time: 
Mon, 18/10/2021 - 3:00pm
End Time: 
Mon, 18/10/2021 - 4:00pm

WEHI PhD Completion Seminar hosted by Dr Shalin Naik

Antonin Serrano

PhD Student - Naik Lab, Immunology division - Infection, Inflammation & Immunity Theme

Deciphering breast cancer heterogeneity and metastatic fate using cellular barcoding


Join via TEAMS

Including Q&A session


Tumour heterogeneity is a complex phenomenon involving multiple biological layers including genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic and phenotypic heterogeneity. Moreover, heterogeneity is not only contained to intrinsic feature of cancer cells but shaped also from other factors such as immune editing, cell-cell interaction, and therapeutic pressure. Due to its inherent constant evolution, tumour heterogeneity is challenging to decipher and grasping the ramifications of temporal and spatial heterogeneity can be complex.

Heterogeneity leading to clonal variants is the major predictor in treatment resistance and recurrence. Thus, there is a need to understand heterogeneity to help pave the way in discovery of new therapeutics and to guide clinical management in selecting the most suitable personalised treatments. Therefore, comprehending the full scope of cancer cell population heterogeneity is as important as the understanding of the diagnostic and monitoring techniques.

Antonin’s PhD project investigated breast tumour heterogeneity by exploring the impact multiple routes of injection in animals have on tumour and metastatic heterogeneity in both spontaneous and experimental metastatic models. He also investigated the representation of different biopsy methods as determined using cellular barcoding of triple negative breast cancer Patient-Derived Xenografts (PDX). This work revealed the impact of clonal architecture in primary tumour heterogeneity and how that relates to its reflection in needle biopsies (solid biopsies), versus circulating tumour cells or cell-free DNA (liquid biopsies). We identified that a combination of solid and liquid biopsies yielded a better representation of tumour heterogeneity than any one method alone. Lastly Antonin investigated the transcriptional correlates of clonal metastatic fate by deploying a novel genetic barcoding method providing insight into molecular features implicated in aggressive TNBC clones.


All welcome!