Development of a test for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Employer
University of East Anglia
Location
Other
Posted
February 25 2016
Position Type
Full Time
Prostate cancer (PCa) has been detected in 30% of 50-60 year old men, rising to 65% in 60-70 year olds. However, only a small proportion of these cancers will become clinically apparent (37,000 UK men diagnosed with PCa in 2012) of which ~20% will progress and kill the patient. Deciding which men to treat and which not is a major problem for patients and the NHS. Our research is designed to develop new clinical tests to aid in these decisions. We have just completed a 3-year Movember-funded international study looking at urine as a source of biomarkers for prostate cancer diagnosis and prognosis primarily examining RNA expression in urine exosomes. Exosomes are membranous spheres containing RNA that are released by cancer cells to influence their environment and aid metastasis. Exosome binding to a recipient cell can trigger a signalling cascade, and the RNA they contain can be taken up and translated into protein. Due to the interconnectivity of the prostate with the urethra, PCa exosomes can be harvested from patient urine. We have already revealed novel PCa biomarkers that are over-expressed in aggressive disease, and a 4-gene signature which can predict which men will respond to hormone therapy and which will die early. The PhD study will follow up this panel of biomarkers, involve bioinformatic analysis and validation of new candidate biomarkers that have arisen from on-going Next Generation Sequencing of exosomal RNA samples. The goal of the research will be to develop a clinically implementable test or tests for prostate cancer per se, aggressive prostate cancer, and cancer that will progress and become aggressive.

For this translational research study the student will be trained and gain knowledge of a range of bioinformatic and laboratory molecular techniques from experts in the field.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess

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