The important discovery of the IAP family of animal cell death regulators by CHEO Research Institute investigators nearly two decades ago paved the way for a unique research centre that is focused on the understanding and manipulation of programmed cell death (apoptosis) to treat disease. The Apoptosis Research Centre (ARC) hosts several principal investigators who share a common goal of curing or improving the treatment of adult and childhood diseases, including cancer and diabetes, and genetic disorders such as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (DM), and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). All this work occurs in a highly collaborative environment with state-of-the-art cell and whole-body imaging instrumentation and with robotic high-throughput screening equipment, which helps identify key genetic factors that contribute to the disease process. The ultimate translation of the basic discoveries by ARC scientists into the clinic involves a wide range of approaches, including gene therapy, analysis of cell signaling pathways, identification and therapeutic assessment of small molecule compounds, and the investigation of “oncolytic” viruses that target cancer cells for death.
Smac Mimetics Synergize With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors to Promote Tumour Immunity Against Glioblastoma
Overall, this combinatorial approach could be highly effective in clinical application as it allows for cooperative and complimentary mechanisms in the immune cell-mediated death of cancer cells.