The role of oestrogen receptor signalling in oesophageal adenocarcinoma
Oesophageal adenocarcinoma remains one of the deadliest forms of gastro-intestinal cancer with an overall mortality rate of 85-90%. The incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has increased five-fold since 1970, and it is 8-9 times more common in men. In addition, men progress from the precursor condition, Barrett’s oesophagus, to invasive carcinoma at twice the rate of females. It is possible that the female sex hormone oestrogen protects against the development of oesophageal adenocarcinoma. This idea is supported by the low prevalence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma in premenopausal women, and by a demonstrated protective role for oestrogen against gastric and colon adenocarcinoma. We have recently published a study which tested the affect of oestrogen on oesophageal adenocarcinoma cells in vitro. It demonstrated that the presence of oestrogen and selective oestrogen receptor modulators reduced adenocarcinoma cell growth and increased apoptosis (cell death). However, the therapeutic potential of manipulating oestrogen receptors (ER-alpha and ER-beta) in oesophageal adenocarcinoma remains largely unexplored. In this project we will investigate a novel approach to the treatment of oesophageal adenocarcinoma using oestrogens and receptors for therapy and in combination with chemotherapy drugs.
What we aim to achieve
The main target of the project is to develop a novel cancer chemotherapy which will be beneficial for oesophageal cancer patients, and will help to save lives and improve the quality of life in cancer patients.
Our next steps and milestones
Our next steps are to prepare for the second in vivo study, and continue the analysis of data and organization of the clinical trial. Results of the clinical trial will demonstrate the effectiveness of the whole project.
What motivates me
Scientists face the challenge of solving difficult puzzles every day. Every solved scientific problem moves us a little bit closer to understanding how our body works and how disease can be prevented and treated. It is impossible to cure cancer unless we understand what drives cancer development and how cancer cells work. Deciphering the cancer puzzle we can design the best treatment and save more lives.
My message to supporters
Thank you very much for your support. By donating money for cancer research, you are supporting projects that could save many lives. Our success gives hope to cancer survivors. Development of novel cancer therapies is an enormous task that takes many years, involves many laboratories, hospitals and health organizations. Only when we join our efforts we will be able to fight this disease, and donation of money for this purpose is essential.