Epigenetic regulation of the angiogenic switch and response to anti-angiogenic therapy in metastatic colorectal cancer

Key Information

Researcher: 
Cancer type: 
Colorectal
Research Institution: 
RCSI
Grant Amount: 
€235,000
Start date: 
October 1, 2013
End date: 
November 30, 2016

Scientific Project Abstract

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.

For the non-scientist

One-line description: 
Identifying DNA modications which may help predict if colorectal cancer patients will respond to therapy
What this project involves: 
It is well known that an adequate blood supply is vital for tumours to survive and grow in the body and a number of drug which target the tumours blood supply have now been developed. However, patient response to these drugs is quite varied. This project aims to look at specific DNA modifications which may help to predict which colorectal cancer patients will successfully respond to these treatments.