Predicting the spread of cancer and how we might stop it
Full project name: Development of a molecular biomarker test for metastatic cancer stem cells in oral squamous cell carcinoma
Tag: Predictive tests
Dr Adrian Biddle
PhD student Leah Palmer
Length of project:
Blizard Institute – Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London
For oral cancer patients with lymph node metastasis, overall survival at 5 years is around 45% lower than in patients where their cancer has not spread to the lymph node. It is the single most important predictor of outcome and an important factor in treatment decisions however, it is currently very difficult to predict which tumours will become metastatic.
This results in poor tailoring of treatment to individual patients. For example, 25% of patients diagnosed as node-negative then turn out to have nodal metastasis and thereby miss out on vital surgery to treat the cancer.
A test that predicts the likelihood of metastasis would enable tailored treatment decisions; aggressive treatment could be targeted to the highest risk patients and aim to improve survival whilst unnecessary treatment could be avoided in low risk patients.
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Oracle Cancer Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1142037). A company limited by guarantee. Registered company in England and Wales (7125497). Registered address: 10 Parsons Green House, 27 Parsons Green Lane, London SW6 4HH.