Professor Michelle Lockley

BSc, FRCP, PhD
Clinical Professor of Medical Oncology, Honorary Consultant
Group Leader
Research Focus

Our lab aims to improve treatments for women with ovarian cancer, particularly those that are resistant to chemotherapy. We are interested in developing therapies that can adapt to the evolution of chemotherapy resistance over time such as Adaptive Therapy. We also employ drug repurposing approaches and oncolytic viral therapies to tackle drug resistance. In all cases, we aim to translate our laboratory findings into clinical trials for cancer patients.

Key Publications

LiquidCNA: Tracking subclonal evolution from longitudinal liquid biopsies using somatic copy number alterations. iScience (2021) 24(8):102889. PMID: 34401670

Chloroxine Overrides DNA Damage Tolerance to Restore Platinum Sensitivity in High-grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. Cell Death and Disease (2021) 12(4):395. PMID: 33854036

Copy number signatures and mutational processes in ovarian carcinoma. Nat Genet (2018) 50(9):1262-1270. PMID: 30104763

CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Trp53 and Brca2 Knockout to Generate Improved Murine Models of Ovarian High-Grade Serous Carcinoma. Cancer Res (2016) 76(20):6118-6129. PMID: 27530326

Pharmacological Inhibition of β3 Integrin Reduces the Inflammatory Toxicities Caused by Oncolytic Adenovirus without Compromising Anticancer Activity. Cancer Res (2015) 75(14):2811-21. PMID: 25977332

Major Funding
  • 2022-2027 - Anticancer Fund, RFA Evolutionary Therapy (2021-2027) “ACTOv: Adaptive ChemoTherapy for Ovarian cancer”, €496,611
  • 2021-2024 - Barts Charity Large Project Grant, “ACTOv Trial: Adaptive ChemoTherapy for Ovarian cancer”, £496,115.16
  • 2018-2021- Barts Cancer Institute Incentivisation Fund, “Repurposing Fluticasone to improve platinum efficacy in (high-grade serous) ovarian cancer” £190,000
  • 2016-2021- Advanced CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship, "New treatments for chemotherapy-resistant high grade serous ovarian cancer” £1,177,994
Other Activities
  • BCI Tissue Bank academic lead
  • Postgraduate Tutor
  • NCRI Early Onset Tumours Working Party
  • NCRI Gynaecological Cancers Clinical Study Group
  • NCRI Ovarian Cancer Subgroup
  • Barts Cancer Centre Executive Board
  • Vice-Chair of the Malignant Germ Cell Tumours International Consortium (MaGIC)
Research

Chemotherapy Resistance

High grade serous cancer (HGSC) is the most common subtype of ovarian cancer. It is initially very responsive to platinum and taxane chemotherapy but more than 70% patients develop chemotherapy resistance and the disease becomes incurable. PARP inhibitors are increasingly used in the treatment of ovarian cancer but resistance to these drugs is common and optimal duration of therapy is largely unknown.

Circumventing drug resistance is therefore a major unmet clinical need. The Lockley lab has created a panel of chemotherapy and PARPi resistant HGSC cell lines and animal models. They have already used these models to identify novel treatments for platinum-resistant disease. Adaptive Therapy is a novel treatment paradigm in which drug dose is tailored to the evolution of chemotherapy resistance in individual patients over time. Dr Lockley has used these models to demonstrate the feasibility of adaptive therapy in ovarian cancer and has begun to elucidate the underlying genetic mechanisms. Dr Lockley has successfully translated this approach to the ACTOv clinical trial (Adaptive ChemoTherapy in Ovarian cancer) that will recruit patients from 9 UK sites beginning in 2022.

Rare gynaecological cancers

Dr Lockley has a special interest in rare gynaecological cancers, particularly ovarian germ cell tumours. She is a member of the NCRI early onset working party as well as the International Consortium of Malignant Germ Cell tumours (MaGIC) where she is co-lead for the translational committee and is also developing the next international trial for poor risk germ cell tumours.

Tissue Collection

Dr Lockley set up and continues to lead the Barts Gynae Tissue Bank. This repository of tissue kindly donated by Barts patients is widely used by scientists at the BCI and with a range of industrial and academic collaborators.

Other Activities
  • BCI Tissue Bank academic lead
  • Postgraduate Tutor
  • NCRI Early Onset Tumours Working Party
  • NCRI Gynaecological Cancers Clinical Study Group
  • NCRI Ovarian Cancer Subgroup
  • Barts Cancer Centre Executive Board
  • Vice-Chair of the Malignant Germ Cell Tumours International Consortium (MaGIC)
Major Funding
  • 2022-2027 - Anticancer Fund, RFA Evolutionary Therapy (2021-2027) “ACTOv: Adaptive ChemoTherapy for Ovarian cancer”, €496,611
  • 2021-2024 - Barts Charity Large Project Grant, “ACTOv Trial: Adaptive ChemoTherapy for Ovarian cancer”, £496,115.16
  • 2018-2021- Barts Cancer Institute Incentivisation Fund, “Repurposing Fluticasone to improve platinum efficacy in (high-grade serous) ovarian cancer” £190,000
  • 2016-2021- Advanced CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship, "New treatments for chemotherapy-resistant high grade serous ovarian cancer” £1,177,994
  • 2014-2019- Barts and The London Charity Strategic Research Grant, “Discovering new therapies for chemotherapy resistant high grade serous ovarian cancer” £197,545
  • 2011-2016- CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship, “Inflammatory Cytokines and Oncolytic Adenoviruses in Ovarian Cancer” £852,327
Recent Publications

Carvedilol targets β-arrestins to rewire innate immunity and improve oncolytic adenoviral therapy Hoare JI, Osmani B, O’Sullivan EA et al. Communications Biology (2022) 5(7)

Advancing clinical and translational research in germ cell tumours (GCT): recommendations from the Malignant Germ Cell International Consortium Fonseca A, Lobo J, Hazard FK et al. British Journal of Cancer (2022) 127(7) 1577-1583

A novel cell line panel reveals non-genetic mediators of platinum resistance and phenotypic diversity in high grade serous ovarian cancer Hoare JI, Hockings H, Saxena J et al. Gynecologic Oncology (2022) 167(7) 96-106

600P Ethnic and socio-economic status in ovarian cancer patients recruited to clinical trials Palmer KR, El-Shakankery KH, Kefas J et al. Annals of Oncology (2022) 33(10) s820

Addressing the diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas of ovarian immature teratoma: Report from a clinicopathologic consensus conference Pashankar F, Hanley K, Lockley M et al. European Journal of Cancer (2022) 173(7) 59-70

Extracellular matrix educates a tumor macrophage phenotype found in ovarian cancer metastasis Puttock EH, Tyler EJ, Manni M et al. (2022) (18)

The Genomic Landscape of Early-Stage Ovarian High-Grade Serous Carcinoma Cheng Z, Mirza H, Ennis DP et al. Clinical Cancer Research (2022) 28(7) 2911-2922

Abstract B001: Developing adaptive therapy to suppress the evolution of treatment resistance in high-grade serous ovarian cancer Hockings H, Lockley M, Graham T et al. Cancer Research (2022) 82(10) b001-b001

Abstract PR015: Developing adaptive therapy to suppress the evolution of treatment resistance in high-grade serous ovarian cancer Hockings H, Lockley M, Graham T et al. Cancer Research (2022) 82(10) pr015-pr015

Surgical management and outcomes for stage 1 malignant ovarian germ cell tumours: A UK multicentre retrospective cohort study Graham R, MacDonald ND, Lockley M et al. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology (2022) 271(7) 138-144

For additional publications, please click here
Biography

Academic positions

  • 2016: Reader in Medical Oncology, Queen Mary University of London/UCLH
  • 2016-2021: CRUK Advanced Clinician Scientist Fellowship
  • 2015-2021: Deputy Centre Lead, Queen Mary University of London
  • 2011-2016: CRUK Clinician Scientist Fellowship
  • 2009-2011: HEFCE Senior Clinical Lecturer/Hon. Cons. Medical Oncology, Queen Mary University of London/Barts Health NHS Trust
  • 2008-2009: NIHR Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Specialist Registrar in Oncology, University of Cambridge
  • 2003-2007: MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow, Queen Mary University of London

Education and qualifications

  • 2016: FRCP
  • 2007: PhD (University of London)
  • 2001: MRCP (Membership of the Royal College of Physicians), London
  • 1997: MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery), University College London, Distinctions in Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynaecology and Anatomy
  • 1994: Honours Degree in Physiology, University College London, First Class