Dr Philip Dunne, senior research fellow at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, was awarded the best scientific presentation at the European Alliance for Personalised Medicine Congress, held recently in Belfast.
"It is an absolute honour to accept this award for our work on developing specific biomarkers to aid clinical decision-making for patients with colorectal (bowel) cancer. Colorectal cancer represents the second most common cause of cancer-related death in the UK and we urgently need to develop new ways to improve how we treat patients with this disease."
"There are approximately 1.4 million cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed annually worldwide, with 41,000 cases in the UK each year. Looking at the genes inside colorectal cells has greatly increased our knowledge of the disease, but as yet this increased understanding has yet to significantly contribute to standard patient care, particularly for patients with early stage disease. Our research, performed in collaboration with the University of Torino, Italy, has identified a new gene signature which indicates that there are five different types of colorectal cancer and the technique that we have developed to reveal this new and exciting data is robust, allowing us to use biopsy samples from patients to inform clinical care."
"We have demonstrated the ability of this new classification system to stratify patients based on their molecular subtype in a series of colorectal biopsy samples obtained during a phase II clinical trial. The ultimate aim of this work is to allow patients to receive a more tailored disease management plan based on the specific biology of their tumour. This will maximise the chances of treatment success but also minimise the debilitating toxicities that can occur with cancer therapies. Using our collaborative links to the UK and European clinical trial network, we now aim to further test these findings in ongoing prospective clinical trials with the aim of improving patient outcomes for this difficult-to-treat disease."
"It is a remarkable achievement for Queen's researchers to win 50% of the prizes on offer at this prestigious international Congress and showcases the excellence and international standing of our research."
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