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Obesity and prostate cancer: an exploration of novel opportunities for personalised management

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  • Full or part time
    Dr M Cantwell
    Prof J O'Sullivan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description


Obesity is associated with a poor prognosis in prostate cancer patients however; the underlying molecular basis is largely unknown. Serum levels of leptin and adiponectin, biologically active factors, secreted by adipose tissue, are altered by obesity. The aim of this proposal is to explore the role that circulating adiponectin and leptin and and tumour adiponectin and leptin receptor expression play in prostate cancer progression in order to identify novel opportunities for personalised management approaches of this common malignancy. The objectives are;

1) To utilise prostate cancer tissue (at the time of diagnosis) and blood samples collected before and after a 6 month diet and physical activity intervention in men using Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT Expression of leptin, adiponectin and their receptors will be assessed in tumour tissue and circulating leptin and adiponectin in blood samples collected before and after the intervention.
2) To conduct a systematic review on prostate cancer tumour expression of adipocytokines (adiponectin, leptin) and their receptors in terms of prostate cancer progression.
3) To conduct a systematic review on circulating adipocytokine (adiponectin, leptin,) on prostate cancer progression.
4) To examine the association between obesity related biomarkers and prostate cancer risk and progression utilising data from a large cohort study.


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU

Funding Notes


DEL Research Studentships

Eligibility for both fees and maintenance (£14,057 for 2015/16, 2016/17 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link:


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, website for further details about the Centre:

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

Related Subjects

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