Melica N. Brodeur
Or contact:
Maroua Mbarik, Research Associate
Melica N. Brodeur, MD, MSC, FRCSC
Principal Investigator, Lady Davis Institute
Assistant Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, McGill University
Major Research Activities
The types of research carried out touch upon the following main themes:
  • Epigenetic modulation and impact on the tumor microenvironment 
    The tumor microenvironment (TME) have become an important area of research. We now understand that there are immunosuppressive factors that promote tumorigenesis and tumor-immune cell interactions and immune phenotypic changes that influence response/resistance to treatment. 

  • Development and validation of predictive/prognostic biomarkers 
    Part of our mission is to personalize patients’ treatment and to provide the right treatment, at the time to the right patient. Identifying biomarkers to predict response to a given treatment can potentially avoid undertreating or overtreating patients. Using a surrogate marker for DNA repair pathways deficiencies are currently a promising avenue for gynecologic cancers. Furthermore, non-invasive tests, such as circulating tumor DNA, is a new field of interest in our laboratory. 

  • Development of a preclinical model platform
    This theme addresses two important areas: 1) to understand the basic biology and etiology of gynecologic cancer initiation and progression, and 2) to establish clinically relevant preclinical models to a) improve precision medicine and b) to develop a platform for for accurate prediction of therapeutic efficacy of targeted therapies in clinical trials.
  • Targeting DNA repair pathways in gynecological cancers 
    Alteration in the expression of repair genes is a common feature of many gynecological cancers. DNA repair alterations can lead to tumor initiation and may be due to genetic mutations, transcriptional regulation, and epigenetic modifications. These alterations may also present vulnerabilities to these cancer cells that can be exploited. Thanks to the support of our patient-partners, our team studies donated patient biospecimens to determine changes in DNA repair proteins in the development of ovarian and endometrial cancer. 

Recent Publications
Brodeur MN*, Simeone K*, Leclerc-Deslauniers K, Fleury H, Carmona E, Provencher D, Mes-Masson A-M. Carboplatin response in preclinical models for ovarian cancer: comparison of 2D monolayers, spheroids, exvivo tumors and invivo models. Scientific Reports. 2021 Sep 14;11(1):18183. PMC 8440566.

Patra B*, Lateef MA*, Brodeur MN, Fleury, H, Carmona E, Péant B, Provencher D, Mes-Masson A-M, Gervais T. Carboplatin sensitivity in epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines: The impact of model systems. PLoS One. 2020 Dec 31;15(12):e0244549. PMC: 7774933.

Llaurado Fernandez M, Dawson A, Kim H, Lam, N, Russel, H, Bruce M, Hoenisch J, Scott, S, Talhouk A, Chiu D, Provencher D, Nourmoussavi M, DiMattia G, Lee CH, Gilks BC, Köbel M, Carey MS. Hormone Receptor Expression and Outcomes in Low-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. Gynecologic Oncology. 2020 Apr;157(1):12-20. PMID: 31954537.

. Scott SA, Llaurado M, Kim H, Elit L, Nourmoussavi M, Glaze S, Roberts L, Offman SL, Gilks B, Matheson K, Köbel M, Dawson A, Tinker AV, Kwon JS, Hoskins P, Santos JL, Cheung A, Provencher D, Carey MS and the Canadian LGSC Community of Practice. Low-grade serous carcinoma (LGSC): A Canadian multicenter review on practice patterns and patient outcomes. 2020 Apr;157(1):36-45. PMID: 32001076.

Nourmoussavi M, Pansegrau G, Popesku J, Hammond GL, Kwon JS, Carey MS. Ovarian Ablation as Treatment for Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Review of Treatment Considerations and the Impact of Premature Menopause. Cancer Treatment Reviews. 2017 Apr;55:26-35. PMID: 28288389.

Dr. Brodeur's lab’s overreaching mission is to improve the lives of those affected by gynecologic cancers. Our purpose is to determine important gaps in knowledge and to use basic science and clinical knowledge to address these unmet needs. Our objectives include understanding underlying mechanisms of these cancers, identifying their vulnerabilities and their response/resistance to treatment as well discovering promising effective and less toxic novel molecular targeted therapies.

The types of research carried out touch upon the following main themes:

  • Epigenetic modulation and impact on the tumor microenvironment
  • Development and validation of predictive/prognostic biomarkers
  • Development of a preclinical model platform for accurate prediction of therapeutic efficacy of targeted therapies in clinical trials 
  • Targeting DNA repair pathways in gynecological cancers
Important Links
The Gynecologic Oncology Research Laboratory
Support research at the Lady Davis Institute - Jewish General Hospital