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Molecular Cancer Diagnosis and Personalised Medicine

Associated Centre/s:  Clinical and Diagnostic Oral Sciences

Associated Research:  Oral Cancer

The key to successful cancer treatment and cure is early detection of cancer formation and personalised treatment based on individual’s molecular profile. Dr Muy-Teck Teh’s research therefore aims to translate basic science into clinical applications and towards personalised medicine based on a combination of patient’s genetic, epigenetic and gene expression signatures.

Hence, he aims to delineate the mechanisms and identify molecular markers of early cancer initiation by employing his expertise in various molecular and cell culture techniques such as high-resolution DNA microarray ‘SNP fingerprinting’ technique, epigenomics (genome-wide methylome mapping, methylation specific qPCR), adult stem cell cultures, 3D organotypic tissue regeneration, retroviral gene delivery, RNA interference gene silencing, absolute real-time quantitative PCR, and bioinformatics.

Dr Teh is currently investigating the mechanism of oncogene-induced epigenetic modifications that perturbs the molecular program regulating stem cell renewal, differentiation and senescence. The stable and heritable properties of ‘epigenetic fingerprints’ render these signatures potentially important for clinical translation into predictive cancer biomarkers.

Key Publications

Teh MT. Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells: Therapeutic Applications in Disease and Injury, Volume 3, Chapter 14: Initiation of Human Tumourigenesis: Upregulation of FOXM1 Transcription Factor. Edited by Dr. M.A. Hayat (Publisher: Springer). 2012. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-2415-0 (In press)

Gemenetzidis E, Elena-Costea D, Parkinson EK, Waseem A, Wan H and Teh MT (2010) Induction of Human Epithelial Progenitor Expansion by FOXM1. Cancer Res70(22):9515–9526 (Press release articleThe IndependentMolecule of the Year 2010)

Waseem A, Ali M, Odell EW, Fortune F and Teh MT (2010) Downstream Targets of FOXM1: CEP55 and HELLS are Cancer Progression Markers of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Oral Oncology 46(7):536-42.

Wang H, Teh MT, Ji YM, Patel Y, Firouzabadian S, Patel AA, Gutkind JS and Yeudall AW (2010) EPS8 Upregulates FOXM1 Expression, Enhancing Cell Growth and Motility.Carcinogenesis 31(6):1132-41.

Teh MT, Gemenetzidis E, Chaplin T, Young BD, Adiam WB, Sugden D and Philpott MP (2010) Upregulation of FOXM1 Induces Genomic Instability in Human Keratinocytes. Mol Cancer 9:45.

Gemenetzidis E, Bose A, Riaz MA, Chaplin T, Young BD, Ali M, Thurlow JK, Cheong SC, Teo SH, Sugden D, Wang H, Waseem A, Parkinson EK, Fortune F and Teh MT. (2009) FOXM1 Upregulation is an Early Event in Human Squamous Cell Carcinoma and it is Enhanced by Nicotine during Malignant Transformation. PLoS ONE 4(3):e4849(Press releases:TimesGuardianNHSMRC;Cancer Research UK)

Teh MT, Tilakaratne WM, Chaplin T, Young BD, Ariyawardana A, Pitiyage G, Lalli A, Stewart JE, Hagi-Pavli E, Cruchley A, Waseem A, Parkinson EK and Fortune F. (2008) Fingerprinting Genomic Instability in Oral Submucous Fibrosis J. Oral Pathol. Med. 37:430-436.

Teh MT, Blaydon D, Ghali LR, Edmunds S., Pantazi E, Barnes MR, Kelsell DP & Philpott MP (2007) Role for non-canonical WNT16B in human epidermal keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. J. Cell Sci. 120:330-339.

Blaydon D, Ishii Y, O’Toole1 EA, Unsworth HC, Teh MT, Rüschendorf  F, Sinclair C, Hopsu-Havu VK, Tidman N, Moss C,  Watson R, Berker D, Wajid M, Christiano AM, Kelsell DP. (2006) R-spondin 4 (RSPO4), a secreted protein implicated in Wnt signalling, is mutated in inherited anonychia. Nat. Genet. 38:1245-1247.

Teh MT, Blaydon D, Tracy Chaplin, Nicola J. Foot, Spyros Skoulakis, Manoj Raghavan, Catherine A. Harwood, Charlotte M. Proby, Michael P. Philpott, Bryan D. Young and David P. Kelsell (2005) Genome-wide SNP Microarray Mapping in Basal Cell Carcinomas Unveils Uniparental Disomy as a Key Somatic Event. Cancer Res. 65:8597-8603(Press release:BBC News)

Kelsell DP, Norgett EE, Unsworth H, Teh MT, Cullup T, et al. (2005) Mutations in ABCA12 underlie harlequin ichthyosis, the most severe congenital ichthyosis. Am J. Hum. Genet. 76:794-803(Press release: BBC News)

Teh MT, Wong S-T, Neill GW, Ghali LR, Philpott MP & Quinn AG. (2002) FOXM1 is a downstream target of Hedgehog signalling in basal cell carcinomas. Cancer Research, 62:4773-4780.


Dr Muy-Teck Teh
Lecturer in Oral pathology
+44 20 7882 7140 (Phone)
+44 20 7882 7153 (Fax)

Research Centre for Clinical & Diagnostic Oral Sciences
Blizard Building
Barts & The London
Queen Mary's School of Medicine & Dentistry
4 Newark Street
London E1 2AT


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