Research Area: Oesophageal Cancer
Amy completed her BSc in Pharmacology in University College Dublin in 2015. After completion of her undergraduate studies Amy was awarded an Irish Cancer Society Scholarship to carry out her PhD studies in the Department Of Surgery, Trinity College Dublin. Her research focuses on the identification of novel radio-sensitising compounds to improve response to radiation therapy in oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC). OAC is an aggressive disease with a very poor prognosis and a dismal cure rate of only 20%. It is of great concern that the incidence of this cancer in Ireland and in the Western World has increased more rapidly than any other cancer, with a 48% rise in incidence rate over the past 15 years. Surgical treatment of OAC is associated with increased morbidly and mortality rates. Current therapeutic regimes focus on neo-adjuvant treatment (prior to surgery) with chemotherapy alone or chemoradiation (neoCRT) for locally advanced tumours. Unfortunately, only 20-30% of patients show a beneficial response to neo-adjuvant therapy with 70-80% of patients receiving a toxic treatment with no benefit. This major clinical challenge of treatment resistance reinforces the need for the discovery and validation of novel targeted therapies which will increase neo-adjuvant treatment response rates and act as radiosensitisers. An upregulation of angiogenesis, metabolism and DNA repair correlates with treatment resistance in OAC. We hypothesise that our novel family of drugs that inhibit angiogenesis, DNA repair and metabolism of tumour cells will improve treatment response.