Tumour hypoxia (poor oxygenation) limits the efficacy of radio- and chemotherapy and promotes a more malignant phenotype. Our aim is to identify novel treatment strategies to mitigate the adverse effects of tumour hypoxia. To this end, we aim to better understand how hypoxia regulates signalling and gene expression that alters metabolism, cancer cell survival and metastasis.

Specific projects include:

1) Regulation of protein folding and secretion
Hypoxia increases the secretion of factors that stimulate blood vessel formation, migration and invasion, which promotes tumour growth and malignant behaviour. These factors have to mature and fold in the endoplasmic reticulum prior to secretion. We aim to identify the mechanisms that support folding and maturation in hypoxia, and to target these mechanisms to mitigate hypoxia-induced protein secretion.

2) Regulation and reprogramming of tumour metabolism
Mutations in some cancer genes cause cells to alter their metabolism. We aim to understand how such genes alter metabolism, how this affects their response to hypoxia and how these changes can be exploited therapeutically. We also use pharmacological agents to reprogram cancer metabolism in ways that decreases tumour hypoxia and promotes the response to conventional cancer treatment.

Related Links

For a list of Dr. Koritzinsky's publications, please visit PubMed, Scopus or ORCID.

Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Toronto
Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto