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Identification of novel treatment strategies for poor prognostic subgroups of advanced colorectal cancer: focus on RASMT and RASWT (with aberrant c-MET) subgroups

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Van Schaeybroeck
    Prof Lawler
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

*SUBJECT TO FUNDING*

Colorectal cancer (CRC) remains the 2nd most common cause of cancer death. More than half of all CRC patients develop distant metastases and have 5-year overall survival (OS) of less than 5% because of ineffective treatments. Increased understanding of cancer biology, coupled with the implementation of “omics”-based approaches, has revealed that cancer must be considered a heterogeneous disease. Historically, “one-size-fits-all” approaches have been standard practice in CRC treatment, but with the increased understanding of the molecular/genetic heterogeneity of CRC, it is clear that novel treatments must be developed and tested in selected subgroups to maximize the benefit of these new developments. QUB is leading a multicentre phase Ib/II clinical trial assessing effect of a novel therapeutic strategy (combined treatment of a MEK inhibitor PD-0325901 with a MET inhibitor PF-02341066) in CRC patients with RAS mutant (MT) and RAS wild type (WT) (with aberrant c-MET) tumours.

The aim of the proposal is to use immunohistochemistry, RNA scope and gene sequencing to identify the CRC patient subgroups who will maximally benefit from this novel treatment strategy. In addition, using gene sequencing and relevant CRC cell line models, novel treatment strategies will be investigated for MET/MEKi resistant cases.

REQUIREMENTS

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:
http://www.qub.ac.uk/home/StudyatQueens/InternationalStudents/EnglishLanguageRequirements/

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 http://www.qub.ac.uk/tefl/

Funding Notes

*SUBJECT TO FUNDING*

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: http://www.delni.gov.uk/index/further-and-higher-education/higher-education/studentfinance/he-student-info-postgrad-finance.htm

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/

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

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