- Research Focus
- Community Engagement
Dr Hardingham is a post-doctoral scientist leading the molecular Solid Tumour Group at the Basil Hetzel Institute. The projects are directed towards:
- improving therapeutic strategies for colorectal cancer (CRC), and
- to developing biomarkers to predict response to targeted monoclonal antibody therapies currently used in treating metastatic CRC in collaboration with the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group and the National Cancer Institute of Canada
Dr Hardingham supervises Honours, Masters and PhD students. She has established collaborations with Professor Andrea Yool at the University of Adelaide, Dr Dan Worthley at SAHMRI, and A/Professor Benjamin Thierry at the University of South Australia.
Research projects are focused on:
- the identification of novel targets, such as aquaporin 1 (AQP1) for anti-cancer therapy,
- on culture of human colonic tumour tissue, and
- in developing mouse models of human colon cancer for testing efficacy of several novel AQP1 inhibitor drugs
As the new drugs are modifications of bumetanide, a commonly used diuretic, they should be well-tolerated in cancer patients with far fewer side-effects than from current chemotherapeutic drugs. This should lead to a change in oncology practice as currently not all patients with early stage colon cancer are offered adjuvant therapy as the risk of toxicity may outweigh the benefit. Furthermore in patients with metastatic disease these novel inhibitors may be invaluable in combination with the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drugs such as bevacizumab, or as an alternative anti-angiogenic therapy for patients who have developed resistance to such therapy.
Another research focus is the identification of genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as biomarkers to predict resistance or sensitivity to monoclonal anti-EGFR therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer. In the era of ‘personalised medicine’ the determination of biomarkers that will predict those patients who will derive greater benefit from EGFR-targeted therapy is important to better select patients. This will reduce unnecessary exposure to adverse effects of therapy and permit a timely switch to the next best available treatment.
Honours, Masters and PhD projects are available in all of these research areas.
- BSc (Hons)
- Member Australasian Gastro-intestinal Trials Group (AGITG)
- Principal Medical Scientist, Molecular Oncology laboratory
- Group Leader Molecular, Colorectal Cancer Research Group
Jenny has presented talks about bowel cancer and research to various community groups, such as Rotary Clubs.
She has also been interviewed by The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) on many occasions for on-line and print articles about her research.
Jenny supervises and mentors high school students for one week in medical research protocols in the middle of each year.
Dr Hardingham is able to speak with the media about targeted therapies for colorectal cancer and the culture of human tissue cells.