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Identifying molecular determinants of response to oxaliplatin in metastatic bowel cancer

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S McDade
    Dr P Dunne
    Prof D Longley
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project Description

The majority of late-stage bowel cancer (BC) patients are treated with a cocktail of drugs including oxaliplatin, which is associated with significant side-effect of chronic peripheral neuropathy in approximately 50% of patients. Currently there is no effective way to identify patients who will benefit from addition of Oxaliplatin to their treatment; there is therefore an urgent unmet clinical need to limit unnecessary exposure of patients to the chronic, potentially life-altering side-effects of this agent. Dealing with the side-effects and the cost of the agent also imposes a significant financial burden on struggling healthcare systems.

Our research using cutting-edge genomic analyses at Queen’s University Belfast and as part of the S:CORT (Stratification in COloRectal cancer: from biology to Treatment prediction) consortium has begun to unravel which “sub-types” of BC benefit most from standard chemotherapy treatments. This has identified a key role for a gene called “p53” in determining response to chemotherapy.

This PhD studentship will exploit our wealth of existing patient and lab-based chemotherapy response data to identify which patients are most likely to respond to oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy and enable patients who will not benefit to avail of alternative therapies. The ultimate goals are translation of these findings into the clinic.

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Bowel and Cancer Research Grant*

Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (2020/21 TBC)

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

References

Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, website for further details about the Centre:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentreforCancerResearchCellBiology/



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