Dr. Melanie Spears
Dr. Melanie Spears
Contact
Dr. Melanie Spears
Interim Co-Director, Diagnostic Development

melanie.spears@oicr.on.ca

Interim Co-Director, Diagnostic Development

Dr. Spears’ research focuses novel approaches to translate scientific research into innovative treatment approaches that will ultimately improve survival in cancer patients.

Understanding of the molecular complexity of cancer leads to accurate diagnostic approaches to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate treatment. Her team uses genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic profiling to understand mechanisms of growth, immune evasion and progression within patient samples. Her research focuses on developing new diagnostic approaches to improve patient diagnosis and treatment decision-making.

Experience & Education
  • Post-Doctoral fellow, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Post-Doctoral fellow, Cancer Research UK, Scotland
  • PhD, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • BSc  Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
Current Affiliations
  • Interim Co-Director, Diagnostic Development, OICR
  • Principal Research Scientist, Diagnostic Development, OICR
  • Assistant Professor, Laboratory of Medicine & Pathobiology, University of Toronto
Select Publications
  • Spears M, Kornaga EN, Lyttle N, Liao L, Bayani J, Quintayo MA, Yao CQ, D’Costa A, Boutros PB, Twelves C, Pritchard KI, Levine MN, Nielsen TO, Shepherd L, Bartlett JMS. A histone gene signature predicts anthracycline response in early breast cancer. JCO Precision Oncology May 2019;3:13
  • Chong T, Sarac A, Yao CQ, Liao L, Lyttle N, Boutros PC, Bartlett JMS, Spears M. Deregulation of the spindle assembly checkpoint is associated with paclitaxel resistance in ovarian cancer. J Ovarian Res. 2018 Apr 4;11(1):27.
  • Spears M, Yousif F, Lyttle N, Bourtos PC, Munro AF, twelves C, Pritchard KI, Levine MN, Shepherd L, Bartlett JMS. A four gene signature predicts benefit from anthracyclines: Evidence from the BR9601 and MA5 clinical trials. Oncotarget Oct 2015; 6(31):31693-701.
  • Braunstein M, Liao L, Lyttle N, Lobo N, Taylor KJ, Krzyzanowski PK, Kalatskaya I, Yao CQ, Stein LD, Boutros PC, Twelves CJ, Marcellus R, Bartlett JMS, Spears M. Downregulation of histone H2A and H2B pathways is associated with anthracycline sensitivity in breast cancer . Breast Cancer Research Feb 2016, 18(1):16.
  • Spears M, Lyttle N, D’Costa A, Chen BE, Yao CQ, Boutros PC, Burnell M, Levine MN, O’Brien P, Shepherd L, Bartlett JMS A four gene signature of chromosome instability (CIN4) predicts for benefit from taxanes in the NCIC-CTG MA21 clinical trial. Oncotarget March 2016; 7(31):49099.
Patents
  • Spears M, Bartlett J, Yousif F, Bourtos P Methods and Devices for predicting anthracycline treatment efficacy European Patent No: 3169815
  • Spears M, Bartlett J , Braunstein M, Krzyzanowski PM. Kalatskaya I, Stein L. Histone gene module predicts anthracycline benefit, Patent, A 18 gene expression signature that predicts response to anthracycline treatment European Patent No: 3169815
  • Spears M, Bartlett J , Braunstein M, Krzyzanowski PM. Kalatskaya I, Stein L. Histone gene module predicts anthracycline benefit, Patent, A 18 gene expression signature that predicts response to anthracycline treatment PCT/CA2016/000247