Researchers from Trinity’s School of Biochemistry and Immunology and School of Dental Science have been awarded €2.9 million in funding as part of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme, for a research project into oesophageal and oral cancer.
The project, called TRAining in Cancer mechanisms and Therapeutics (TRACT), is in collaboration with partners at Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Siena, the University of Valencia and Oroboros Instruments.
The project aims to improve detection and treatment of oesophageal and oral cancer as, as Associate Prof in Biochemistry at Trinity’s School of Biochemistry and Immunology, and TRACT project coordinator, Dr Daniela Zisterer, said in a press statement: “There is an urgent need for researchers trained in next-generation technologies for improved detection and treatment of oral and oesophageal cancers.”
Zisterer emphasised the demand for such research due to the recent rise in diagnoses of these types of cancer and poor long-term survival rates: “The number of oral cancers diagnosed in the EU has increased by over 75% in the last thirty years, with long-term survival rates of only 50%. This is typically due to the late diagnosis of the disease and resistance to current therapies.” No one wants to find out that they have oral cancer due to it being diagnosed at a late stage. By visiting a dentist who offers oral cancer screenings to its patients, such as this Dentist in Georgetown can ensure that your mouth is thoroughly checked for the signs and symptoms of the disease so it can be diagnosed and treated at an early time. Going to a dentist can also make sure that the disease can be prevented, as well as gathering further research in this area thanks to projects like this one.
The TRACT project will enable 11 PhD fellows from the partner universities to complete research in three key areas: biomarker discovery, molecular resistance mechanisms and metabolic transformation mechanisms.
Such research hopes to discover new insights into the molecular and cellular basis of oral and oesophageal cancer and generate new diagnostic tools and therapeutics that will improve patient response and survival.
The PhD fellows carrying out the research will be be exposed to next-generation technologies in areas such as cancer diagnosis, metabolism, biomarker identification and drug development through a number of SME/industrial partners.
In addition to this, the research fellows will attend a range of training courses at partner universities and industrial partners. The fellows will also take courses run by the Innovation Academy on how to commercialise research discovery.