The aim of Dr Aytes’s group is to discover new mechanisms which lead to cancer progression and metastasis, and to clarify how these mechanisms contribute to the onset of treatment resistance. The group’s main focus is on prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer mortality among men. It uses genetically engineered mice (GEM) to model relevant molecular alterations, thereby recapitulating the progression pathway observed in human prostate cancer. Furthermore, from a gene-regulatory-network perspective, the group carries out interspecies studies to identify therapeutic targets which can be validated in preclinical models. The strategic lines of the research group are:
- To clarify the independent cell-cycle mechanisms through which the master regulators FOXM1 and CENPF contribute to acquisition of the lethal metastatic phenotype and therapeutic failure.
- To investigate how the aberrant expression of chromatin modifiers in castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer affects the AR cistrome and contributes to enzalutamide resistance.
- To describe the spectrum of chromatin accessibility in advanced castration-resistant prostate cancer to complement the existing transcriptomic and genomic datasets.