Professor Ingunn Holen

by | 26 Jul 2022 | Sheffield, Supervisors | 0 comments


Research profile and key clinical specialties

Research in the Holen team is focused on tumour cell dissemination in bone, and how this is influenced by the microenvironment in breast and prostate cancer.

We use cutting edge technology to study the early stages of bone metastasis and how single cancer cells may remain dormant or start to proliferate when encountering different environments.

With clinical colleagues, we work to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in tumour cell-bone cell interactions, and how these can be targeted by anti-cancer therapies, including CDK4/6 inhibitors.

We also investigate the role of the microenvironment in driving progression of bone metastases and collaborate with colleagues in the Dept of Physics and Astronomy to elucidate the biomechanical properties of the bone metastatic niche.

Two key publications

  • Quayle LA, Spicer A, Ottewell PD, Holen I. Transcriptomic Profiling Reveals Novel Candidate Genes and Signalling Programs in Breast Cancer Quiescence and Dormancy. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Aug 4;13(16):3922. doi: 10.3390/cancers13163922.
  • Allocca G, Hughes R, Wang N, Brown HK, Ottewell PD, Brown NJ, Holen I. The bone metastasis niche in breast cancer-potential overlap with the haematopoietic stem cell niche in vivo. J Bone Oncol. 2019 Jun 7;17:100244. doi: 10.1016/j.jbo.2019.100244.

Possible PhD projects

  • Characterising the bone microenvironment to identify novel therapeutic targets in metastatic breast cancer

More information

Successfully supervised numerous PhD students, including clinical fellows, working on translational research projects (3 current PhD students).


Keywords: Breast, prostate, cancer, metastasis. molecular, CDK4/6, Ingunn, Holen, Sheffield