Radiation Response in Oesophageal Cancer: the role of visceral fat tissue in controlling response through immune-metabolic regulation

Fiona O’Connell

Oesophageal cancer is cancer of the oesophagus, the pipe connecting the mouth to the stomach, is an aggressive disease, the occurrence of which is expected to double in the next twenty years with increasing obesity rates in Ireland and worldwide.

Oesophageal cancer is the cancer that is most highly associated with obesity. This project is focused on finding out the link between obesity and oesophageal cancer and it’s response to radiation therapy. The aim of Fiona’s project is to look at how obesity effects the response of the immune system by looking at how adipose (fat) tissue taken from obese and non-obese patients effects how different cells from the immune system grow and work.

Her project will then look at whether healthy dietary fats effect how the immune system responds to radiation treatment and if these fats could be used to change how the immune system responds to radiation treatment.

At the end of this project, a profile should be developed that shows a different signature for patients that will respond to radiation therapy and those that won’t respond to radiation therapy as well as how obesity will affect the response to radiation. This is a patient-focused project aims to have a significant impact on Oesophageal cancer patient response to treatment prior to surgery. Our findings will allow better understanding of events controlling treatment response and resistance in oesophageal cancer patients.

Start year:
Principal Investigator:
Professor Jacintha O’Sullivan
Fiona O'Connell
Trinity College Dublin
Cancer type:
Linked Breakthrough Research Priorities:
1, 2, 5

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