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Cancer Cell Immortality Group

About us

Cellular immortality is a hallmark of cancer and provides a cancer-specific target for creating anti-cancer drugs with minimal side-effects. The Cancer Cell Immortality Group has developed the only specific biomarker and quantitative assay for the ALT (Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres) immortality mechanism, which now makes it possible to generate novel ALT-targeted therapeutics and diagnostics, as well as furthering our understanding of the ALT cellular immortality mechanism.

The ALT mechanism works by resetting the cellular age counting mechanism, which involves progressive shortening of the telomeres (the repetitive DNA at the ends of our chromosomes). Our team found that the ALT mechanism causes an abnormal circular DNA to be formed from the telomeres, which we termed C-Circles.  We have detected C-Circles in the blood of patients with cancers that use the ALT mechanism and by measuring the level of C-Circles we can monitor changes in the level of ALT activity. Currently, we are using our C-Circle technology to develop a blood test for ALT cancer activity and an automated screen for ALT-targeted therapeutics. We are also investigating C-Circle biology to enable innovative strategies for curing cancer.

We welcome any interest in our research, for further information please contact Dr Jeremy Henson (

Please view our three minute video at




We greatly appreciate your support, donations for our research can be made through UNSW Foundations by clicking on the link below:

Our associated BTC address is 1HuV9rFTpCtijNPvt7tXaCisf5cSMzmJSs

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