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)
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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