Surgery News

Dr Margaret Dunne, Dr Melissa Conroy and Dr Niamh Lynam-Lennon promoted to rank of Senior Research Fellow

Dr Margaret Dunne, Dr Melissa Conroy and Dr Niamh Lynam-Lennon were recently promoted to the rank of Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College Dublin, in recognition of their contributions to teaching, research and college. All three new Senior Fellows work at the Department of Surgery, where the overall focus of research is to improve cancer patient stratification by identifying and evaluating novel cancer therapeutics and maximising the societal benefit of biomedical research at Trinity College Dublin in the areas of translational oncology and radiobiology, immunology, obesity and inflammation.

Dr Margaret Dunne awarded PI grant from the Health Research Board

Dr Margaret Dunne, Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Surgery was recently awarded a HRB Health Research Award, for a project entitled "Development of prognostic screening tools to predict patient response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy treatment for oesophageal adenocarcinoma". Dr Dunne's award provides €330,000 over three years.

Cancer of the oesophagus is an aggressive type of cancer with poor outlook and is affecting a growing number of people in Ireland. The main types of treatment are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which may be given alone or in combination. Although chemoradiotherapy treatments work well for some patients, the majority of patients will not respond and may suffer unnecessary treatment toxicity and a delay to surgery. Currently there is no way to tell which patients will respond and which patients won't.

This study will develop new ways of identifying patients who may benefit from chemoradiotherapy treatment, by analysing immune markers present in oesophageal tumours. By examining differences between responding and non-responding patients, this project aims to discover key markers which can be used to predict patient prognosis, and to guide and improve cancer treatment.