We are delighted to announce the 2020 Musgraves Scholar, with Breakthrough Cancer Research Dr Fiona Crotty

Fiona will work with supervisors Dr Claire Donohoe and Professor Jacintha O’Sullivan based in the Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute, in Trinity College Dublin and St. James’s Hospital. During her 3-year PhD, Fiona will “Assess immune response to neoadjuvant treatment in oesophagogastric adenocarcinoma.”

For cancer cells to survive and grow they must be able to evade or hide from the immune system. The area around the tumour is called the tumour microenvironment.  We find different immune cells in the tumour microenvironment of different patients.

Research in different cancer types shows that the immune microenvironment can reflect response to treatment and prognosis. However, little research has been done on the microenvironment of oesophagogastric cancer, and current studies report conflicting results. Our current treatments for oesophagogastric cancer are ineffective and brutal.  This knowledge gap has the potential to target the use of traditional onco-therapy to those who are likely to respond and lead to the informed development of newer immunotherapy approaches.

The overall aim of this research is to develop an immune profile that predicts who will response to which treatments, so that we can personalise treatment based on likelihood of response.  This research has the potential to improve patients outcomes and quality of life by, in the future: i) Treating patients only with the treatment they need, ii) Avoiding unnecessary side effects and disease progression and iii) Identifying the patients who need more or different treatment, such as immune-based therapies

Start year:
Principal Investigators:
Dr Claire Donohoe and Professor Jacintha O'Sullivan
Lead researcher:
Dr Fiona Crotty
Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute, in Trinity College Dublin and St. James’s Hospital
Grant funding:
Musgraves Cancer Research Scholarship
Cancer type:
Linked Breakthrough Research Priorities:
1, 2, 3, 5

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