Research objectives and content
The objectives of the research project are to establish a role for measurements of apoptosis in human tumours as a diagnostic tool for radiotherapy. Apoptosis will be measured (morphometry and in situ nick-ended-DNA labelling) in pre-treatment tumours from various sites (neuroblastoma, breast. celvix, head and neck, glioblastoma), stages (I-III) and types (squamous cell, adenocarcinoma). Results for the different tumours will be compared and correlated with local control and survival following radiotherapy. In order to understand the molecular and epigenetic mechanisms underlying low versus high apoptosis scores, parallel assessments will be made in the tumours of the expression of relevant gene products (sv53, hcl-2, myc, ras), hypoxia, radiosensitivity and prolileration. The latter mechanistic studies will determine the treatment options for low and high apoptosis scores (e.g. tor tumours where apoptosis indicates hypoxia, carbogen-breathing would be recommended). Training content (objective, benelit and expected impact)
The objective of this period of post-doctoral training is to establish a basis for a long-term career in radiobiology, both in terms of increasing my international scientific status and in developing a unique research base on which to build my future scientific career.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
Growth factors are supplied to the Host Department by the AMGEN corporation. These are being used to investigate differential modification of the response of tumours and normal tissues. Also, work in the Department has led to the development of a non-laser light source, for photodynamic therapy and other applications, which has been patented both in Europe and worldwide (pending), and it is being marketed and developed in association with several companies. In order to produce and market a pre-clinical diagnostic test, future links will be established and developed with companiess selling apoptosis probe products and image analysis systems.