Targeting obesity related microenvironment factors

An ACED Pilot Research Project

Targeting obesity related microenvironment factors for biomarkers avenues of early female reproductive cancer detection.

Lead 1: Dr Mona Shehata, University of Cambridge

Lead 2: Prof. Emma Crosbie, University of Manchester

Lead 3: Dr Laura Heiser, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU)



Project Summary

Breast and endometrial cancers account for a staggering 35% of all female cancers diagnosed. Obesity has been identified as a risk factor especially in postmenopausal women and with the rising levels of obesity, the rates of these cancers are also increasing. In order to detect these cancers earlier, it is essential to understand how they begin. Unfortunately, despite strong links between obesity and breast/endometrial cancers, little is known about how these obese cells influence the early steps of breast and endometrial cancer development.

This project will investigate use of ‘mini-breast’ and ‘mini-endometrium’ organoid models to mimic the conditions of growing in obese and lean environments. We will examine how obese-altered environments influence the breast and endometrial organoids in their first steps of becoming cancerous. This will allow us to determine which factors in obese environments are necessary for these changes and also may provide information that can be used to identify the obese women most likely to develop cancer.


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About ACED Manchester

ACED is a £55 million partnership between world-leading early detection institutes and organisations dedicated to improving the early detection of cancer.

Funding Opportunities

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