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Irish Cancer Society Research Fellow Award

December 4th 2012

Colon cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths in Ireland and represents a significant health problem.

In many instances, colon cancer spreads to other organs, which is called metastasis. When this happens it is most likely to result in death. New ways to tackle the problem of colon cancer metastasis have had very little success. The Irish Cancer Society have awarded REMEDI researcher Dr. Aideen Ryan and her collaborators a Research Fellowship Award of €230,000 to develop new strategies to help improve treatments for patients with colon cancer metastasis.

In conjunction with Dr. Ryan’s mentor Professor Laurence Egan at NUIG and collaborators Professor Matthew Griffin from REMEDI and Dr. Aileen Houston at University College Cork, the aim of the project is to further our understanding of how cancer cells interact with our immune system. Their previous research has shown how the body’s own immune system affects how colon cancer cells spread. The team aims to discover the factors that control the immune systems interaction with colon cancer. Dr. Ryan states, “Blocking these factors would enable us to develop new drugs that could, in turn, be used to make our immune response to cancer stronger. This novel approach to cancer treatment could potentially result in better treatments and consequently a better prognosis and quality of life for patients with colon cancer.”