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Blood supply to tumours in patients suffering from cancer is a vital process that drives the progression of the disease. Several drugs have been developed that block the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), thus preventing tumour growth. However, many patients are unable to respond to such therapy. Scientists have now shown that a 'switch' in potential to form new blood vessels may govern response to this type of treatment. This projects aims to understand how this switch is controlled at a genetic level in cancer patients and what impact that has on how patients respond to treatment. To do this, we will use a state of the art approach where tumours from colon cancer patients are implanted into mice and then expanded to generate a large population in which to study treatment responses. The information obtained from this project will ultimately allow us to predict if a patient will respond to therapy, saving the patient unnecessary treatment, in addition to identifying novel targets to develop drugs against.
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