Friday, 10th February 35th Lorne Cancer Conference 2023

10:30AM - 11:00AM
Friday, 10th February
1:00PM - 3:30PM
Friday, 10th February
1:15PM - 2:05PM
Friday, 10th February
Lecture Hall

Don’t miss this one-hour scientific workshop to find out how BGI oncology solutions are empowering in Australia’s leading cancer research. The workshop features two guest speakers: Dr. Dmitrii Shek, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, will be presenting a cohort study on genomic alterations and in-depth mutation analysis in metastatic thoracic tumour tissues and immune-checkpoints inhibitors, and A/Prof. Simon Chu, Research Group Head, Hudson Institute of Medical Research, will be sharing his expertise in ovarian cancer research and his latest findings on identifying mutational landscape of ovarian granulosa cell tumours to predict and/or drive late recurrence and/or aggressive behaviour to develop effective targeted personalised therapeutic options for patients using both RNASEQ and Whole Exome Sequencing. Save your seat at this link.

2:15PM - 3:05PM
Friday, 10th February
Lecture Hall

Comparative skin cancer atlas and interactome: A multi-modal spatial approach to uncovering the cells  and interactions underlying skin cancer diversity

Quan Ngyuen – University of Queensland

NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow, Centre for Genetics and Population Health, Institute for Molecular Bioscience
Affiliate Senior Research Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

The three major skin cancer types - squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and melanoma - account for >70% of all cancer. Although these cancers all derive from the outer skin layer (epidermis), variability in cell type composition and interactions causes substantial cross-cancer differences in disease initiation and invasive and metastatic potential. A knowledgebase of cell type composition and cell-to-cell interactions within the three skin cancers is needed to aid the assessment of risks and prognosis upon patient presentation. Here we integrated six distinct yet complementary spatial single-cell technologies to build the largest cell atlas and interactome of SCC, BCC, and melanoma to date.

First, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) on >50,000 cells from 11 paired healthy and SCC patient biopsies. We found 30 molecularly-distinct cell types/states, 18 of which were significantly enriched in SCC tissues and expressed strong transcriptional signatures of pro-tumour signalling. GeoMx spatial proteomics data independently validated the presence of rare immune cell types defined by scRNAseq. Visium and CosMx transcriptomic analyses were performed for all three skin cancer types to map spatial neighbourhoods and construct a cell-to-cell interaction atlas. We screened all captured ligand-receptor (LR) pairs in 121 possible cell type combinations to reveal signalling between cancer types/states, patients, and tissue regions.

With CosMx data, we found between 2-12 LR pairs specific to each cancer type, some of which have been previously implicated in skin cancer progression and metastasis. We independently validated two key LR interactions, PD1_PDL1 and IL34_CSF1R, using Opal Multiplex Polaris and RNAscope data. Downstream analysis of IL34_CSF1R signalling zones suggested enrichment of IL34-related antigen presenting pathways in melanoma. Overall, we present a valuable database and analysis approaches to reveal potential biomarkers of initiation and progression of the most lethal type (melanoma) and the most common types (SCC and BCC) of skin cancer. This resource is available for users to explore interactively at the skInteractive web browser: 


Oncofetal Ecosystem in HCC: Towards Spatial Precision Oncology

Ankur Sharma Ph.D. - Laboratory Head - Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Senior Research Fellow – Curtin University

Embryonic development is characterized by rapidly dividing cells, cellular plasticity and a highly vascular microenvironment. These features are similar to those of tumour tissue in that malignant cells are characterized by their ability to proliferate and exhibit cellular plasticity. The tumour microenvironment also often includes immunosuppressive features. Reciprocal communication between various cellular subpopulations enables fetal, and tumour tissues to proliferate, migrate and escape immune responses. Fetal-like reprogramming has been demonstrated in the tumour microenvironment, indicating extraordinary cellular plasticity and bringing an additional layer of cellular heterogeneity. In this talk, I will share insights from NanoString's SMI platform CosMx in identifying an oncofetal niche in tumour tissue and its implication in therapy response.

5:35PM - 7:15PM
Friday, 10th February
7:15PM - 9:15PM
Friday, 10th February

Includes flash talk presentations. 

Rosa Pascual
Heterogeneity and function of mammary gland fibroblasts abs# 30

Brooke Pereira
Temporal proteomic profiling reveals Nidogen-2 as a new stromal co-target in pancreatic cancer abs# 31

Teresa Sadras
CRISPR-directed chromosomal translocations provide novel insights into leukaemia initiation abs# 32

Basit Salik
Sensitivity to immune-mediated stress as a novel avenue in leukaemia immunotherapy abs# 33

Cara E Toscan
A novel approach to the treatment of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia using the AKR1C3-activated prodrug, ACHM-025 abs# 34

April C Watt
The epigenetic basis of synergy in combining CDK4/6 inhibition and endocrine therapy in breast cancer abs# 35

Kaitlin Wyllie
Investigating the role of Peroxidasin, an extracellular matrix protein, in cancer progression and metastasis abs# 36