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Role of Autophagy in Progression of Oesophageal Cancer

Posted on: 15 Jun 2018

Role of Autophagy in Progression of Oesophageal Cancer


Principal Investigator: Dr. Sharon McKenna

Lead Researcher: Dr. Tracey O'Donovan 


This team has been investigating resistance mechanisms in oesophageal cancer cells. They have shown that a recycling process within cancer cells (called Autophagy) can help these cells to recover from chemotherapy. They have already investigated patient tumour tissue to establish if this process happens in patients and if it is related to outcome. They have found unique structures within cancer cells that are highly predictive of outcome for patients. These structures are labelled with proteins involved in Autophagy.

In this project they are trying to identify what these structures are, so that they can establish why they are associated with poor survival in patients. To do this they will evaluating the function of these structures within tumour cells and looking at additional markers that will help identify the origin and potential function of these structures. As these are associated with aggressive cancer biology it is critical that we understand what these are and how to block their activity for patient benefit.

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