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New treatment for advanced bowel cancer
This study will investigate small packages, known as vesicles, to better understand the role that they play in assisting the spread of cancer cells around the body.
Using organotypic models the researchers will identify the mechanism behind how bowel cancer spreads, why and how it manifests in other sites around the body and specifically how extracellular vesicles contribute to this.
The team is being led by Dr Nicholas Peake and Dr Laura Cole at the Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. The study will be supported by Professor Christine Le Maitre from the Centre, Dr Stuart Hunt from the School of Clinical Dentistry at Sheffield University and Professor Alex Mirnezami from the Cancer Sciences Academic Unit at the University of Southampton.
Why study a new treatment for advanced bowel cancer?
Bowel cancer survival rates are very much lower once the cancer has had a chance to move around the body and develop in other areas, such as liver, lungs or brain. At stage IV, only 6% of patients will survive more than 5 years post treatment.
We don’t adequately understand the mechanism used by cancer cells to move around the body and settle in other organs. Developing a better understanding of this is critical to the development of new treatments that can in future identify and prevent this. Because vesicles circulate in patients, they could become a useful marker in assessing whether a cancer has spread.