Surgical Services

Elucidation of cellular and molecular factors that govern disease behaviour in patients undergoing Lower Gastrointestinal Investigations

Survival rates for colorectal cancer (CRC) are greater than 90% if identified and treated early. However, once it has spread beyond the bowel wall, the survival rates drop severely. In addition, different CRC patients respond differently to treatments, with those patients who have tumours that are resistant to treatment having poorer chances of surviving their disease. This study will take blood and tissue samples from consenting patients to gain better understanding of the biology of CRC, how it develops, how it progresses and how tumours respond to treatment. This will help to improve how patients are diagnosed and treated, to improve CRC patients’ chances of surviving their disease. The overall aim is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying CRC progression and the different responses to cytotoxic and targeted molecular therapies. This will enable improved stratification of patients and the identification of novel drug targets and drug combinations.

This ambitious study in collaboration with Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, St James’s Hospital will aim to recruit 800 patients over a 15 year period.