Chemotherapy remains the principal treatment strategy for different types of cancer. However, cellular multidrug resistance (MDR) prevents efficient killing of the cancer cells, leading to chemotherapeutic treatment failure. Thus, MDR is one of the major obstacles to the successful chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer patients. MDR phenomenon is known as the resistance of tumor cells to structurally and functionally different cytotoxic or cytostatic anticancer agents. Over-expression of anti-apoptotic factors, under-expression of pro-apoptotic factors, ATP-binding cassette transporters which decrease intracellular drug concentrations to sublethal levels, increase in amount of drug target, changes in the structure of target and aberrant ceramide metabolism confers  MDR.

The research interests of my laboratory are;

Finding responsible resistance mechanisms in cancer chemotherapy. To this aim, we generate novel forms of resistant cancer cell lines as model systems and examine the differences between parental sensitive cells and resistant cells.

Increasing the sensitivity of resistant cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Application of siRNAs that target genes triggering resistance, overexpression of the genes inducing apoptosis or co-application of chemotherapeutic agents with specific chemical inhibitors that prevent the function of the genes and/or proteins leading to chemoresistance.

Investigating the involvement of ceramides and their metabolic products in drug induced cell death and resistance both in model cell lines and cancer patients.

Examining apoptotic signalling pathways in drug resistant cell lines and patient samples. Determining the unidentified signalling pathways induced and/or inhibited by the chemical agents.

Applications of stem cells for regeneration of damaged tissues and organs.

Understanding the efficiency of chemotherapeutics in patients prior to chemotherapy is crucial for clinical success of chemotherapy. This may lead to development of personalized chemotherapy strategies to overcome the drug resistance