A Drosophila in vivo platform for the identification of radiation sensitivity biomarkers

Student: Terrence Trinca
Supervisor: Dr Joaquín de Navascués Melero
Location: Cardiff University
Cancer Type: All – Radiotherapy
Start and end date: Oct 17 – Oct 20

Radiotherapy is an essential component of cancer treatment, indicated to around 50% of all cancer patients, responsible for 40% of cures, and very cost effective (5% of the cancer care costs). However, its efficacy is limited by the toxicity of ionising radiation to the normal tissue, whose effects can be both acute (hours to weeks after treatment) and chronic (months to years). Late effects can be very serious and have a great impact in the quality of life of cancer survivors, years after treatment.

With more people surviving cancer, chronic radiation injury is a growing health care concern. Currently, radiotherapy doses are generally defined so that less than 5% of patients will suffer serious late toxicity.

This project aims to identify potential biomarkers for predisposition to chronic radiation injury in cancer patients receiving radiotherapy. If biomarkers are identified, this could allow the prescribing of personalised radiation doses and similarly, an insight into the nature of late toxicity could lead to co-treatments to reduce these side effects.

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