By Erler Lab, May 2016
We are delighted to announce that Janine Erler has been awarded the Danish Cancer Society Junior Research Prize.
The Danish Cancer Society (Kræftens Bekæmpelses) has recognised Janine’s pioneering work into the role of the enzyme LOX in cancer progression and her ongoing efforts to identify new ways to prevent the spread of cancer throughout the body. Janine has been researching cancer for the past 16 years.
Janine was responsible for the discovery of an enzyme called LOX which cancer cells release. Thanks to her team, we now know that LOX causes changes to their immediate environment, making it easier for the cancer to spread to new parts of the body. This spread of cancer is called metastasis, and is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths.
What have Janine and her team found so far?
Cancer cells release LOX to identify cancer-free sites. LOX change the structure of the organs, making tissue better suited for cancer invasion. By measuring the levels of LOX enzyme in head and neck cancer patients, disease progression can be accurately predicted. Janine has also developed a drug that blocks the LOX process, and this drug is being tested in clinical trials.
And what about the future?
Janine and her team will continue to research LOX, particularly the role it plays in different cancer types. Another goal is to develop new ways to disrupt and block the LOX enzyme, using methods that are totally unique to different cancers and different patients.
We are all thrilled that Janine’s hard work has been celebrated by the Danish Cancer Society, and we are very grateful to the society for their support.
Visit the Danish Cancer Society’s website to learn more and watch a video about Janine’s award (Danish text/English audio).