Bowel & Cancer Research

Profiling Genetic Mutations in Bowel Cancer

The vast majority (95%) of bowel cancer occurs sporadically (it doesn't run in the tamily) which makes it hard to treat with conventional chemotherapy drugs. It's therefore vital that we develop an understanding of the changes in the genes that cause bowel cancer.

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It ran from 8:40 PM, 23 June 2014 to 2:29 PM, 3 March 2015

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Despite being the 3rd most prevalent cancer and the 2nd biggest cancer killer, bowel cancer has suffered from lack of translational research. This has meant that, whereas breast cancer now has an 85% 5 year survival rate, bowel cancer languishes at 50%. Bowel cancer is currently treated with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, patients are often exposed to a "one size fits all" regimen which doesn't take account of the different changes that can occur in tumours in different people. This can be detrimental to the individual patient and lead to toxic side effects. We'd want to try to understand how the gene changes that arise in a tumour influence the response of the cancer to therapy. The work will be carried out within the Colorectal Cancer Genetics Group within the Institute of Cell and Molecular Sciences at Queen Mary University of London. The Group has aready carried out important work relating to patients with a family history of bowel cancer, and has contributed significantly to the scientific literature. The group is therefore well placed to take this important project forward.