The Solomon laboratory focuses on pre-clinical studies of novel cancer therapies, and identification of prognostic and predictive biomarkers in lung cancer and head and neck cancer.

The Molecular Therapeutics and Biomarkers team conducts pre-clinical and translational studies to develop and evaluate new treatment strategies, and to identify predictive makers for patients with cancer, with a focus on non-small cell lung cancer and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. We aim to function at the interface between the clinic and laboratory, to develop new treatment strategies that can be evaluated in clinical trials. We also aim to conduct biomarker analyses on tissue samples collected from clinical trials and archival sources, to find better ways to select patients for optimal treatment with conventional or novel treatment strategies.

Research projects

Identifying prognostic and predictive biomarkers in head and neck cancer

Immunotherapy is emerging as a potential therapeutic option for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. However, no validated biomarkers for the selection or stratification of patients to receive these therapies have been identified to date. We are therefore employing immunohistochemistry to investigate the prevalence and tumoural location of specific subsets of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes, and correlating these findings with patient clinico-pathological data to better characterise this disease.


Dr Carleen Cullinane, Senior Scientist
Richard Young, Senior Research Officer
Susan Jackson, Technical Assistant

Key publications

McDowell LJ, Young RJ, Johnston ML, Tan TJ, Kleid S, Liu CS, Bressel M, Estall V, Rischin D, Solomon B, Corry J (2016). p16-positive lymph node metastases from cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: No association with high-risk human papillomavirus or prognosis and implications for the workup of the unknown primary. Cancer. 122(8):1201-8.

Young RJ, Urban D, Angel C, Corry J, Lyons B, Vallance N, Kleid S, Iseli TA, Solomon B, Rischin D (2015). Frequency and prognostic significance of p16(INK4A) protein overexpression and transcriptionally active human papillomavirus infection in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Br J Cancer. 112(6):1098-104.

Trinkaus ME, Hicks RJ, Young RJ, Peters LJ, Solomon B, Bressel M, Corry J, Fisher R, Binns D, McArthur GA, Rischin D (2014). Correlation of p16 status, hypoxic imaging using [18F]-misonidazole positron emission tomography and outcome in patients with loco-regionally advanced head and neck cancer. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 58(1):89-97.

Azad A, Bukczynska P, Jackson S, Haupt Y, Cullinane C, McArthur GA, Solomon B (2014). Co-targeting deoxyribonucleic acid-dependent protein kinase and poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase-1 promotes accelerated senescence of irradiated cancer cells. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 88(2):385-94.

Solomon BJ, Mok T, Kim DW, Wu YL, Nakagawa K, Mekhail T, Felip E, Cappuzzo F, Paolini J, Usari T, Iyer S, Reisman A, Wilner KD, Tursi J, Blackhall F, PROFILE 1014 Investigators (2014). First-line crizotinib versus chemotherapy in ALK-positive lung cancer. N Engl J Med. 371(23):2167-77.

Research programs