Nathalie Bracke

nathalie.jpgContact info

Nathalie Bracke

Laboratory of Drug Quality and Registration (DruQuaR) 
Ottergemsesteenweg 460, 9000 Ghent (Belgium)

Phone : + 32 (0)9 264.80.94 (secr.81.01)
Fax: + 32 (0)9 264.81.93




Ph.D. research



Title: Selective tumor-targeting of somatropin-derived peptides


Neuro-endocrine tumours (NETs) constitute a life-threatening disease, where yet no long-term effective therapy is available. Due to the complexity of this disease, fundamental research leading to drug development is not straightforward. Therefore, new innovative research strategies are necessary to rationally develop new tumour-selective diagnostic and therapeutic drugs. As recent studies indirectly indicate that growth hormone (GH) could play an important role in the development of neuro-endocrine tumours, we will investigate the use of somatropin (recombinant growth hormone)-derived peptides in NETs and in growth hormone receptor (GHR) expressing tumours (e.g. prostate and breast cancer).

To rationally select the interacting peptides, bioinformatics and chemometrics will be performed, using docking analyses and descriptor calculations. Moreover, somatropin-derived peptide tetramers will be selected to evaluate their potential use. The binding properties of the most promising peptidic compounds will then further be evaluated using GHR-expressing cancer cell lines, as well as immobilized growth hormone binding protein (surface acoustic wave biosensor technology). Their research, diagnostic and therapeutic potential will be confirmed using preclinical investigations.

Keywords: cancer, somatropin, peptide drugs