Assessment of the predictive value of immune and histological parameters in oesophageal adenocarcinoma using digital pathology

Cancer of the oesophagus, or food pipe, is an aggressive type of cancer, with poor survival rates. The number of people affected is increasing and is set to double in Ireland within the next 20 years. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are used to treat patients with oesophageal cancer, but these therapies only work for a small number of people. Currently, there is no way to tell which patients will respond and which won't, meaning that the majority of patients are receiving this treatment with no benefit.

This study will measure several different markers in oesophageal tumours, and will evaluate whether the level of these markers can predict a patient's response to therapy. The markers tested will give a lot of information about the tumour, such as how many immune cells are present, how likely the tumour is to move to other parts of the body and how developed the tumour's energy supply is. Measurement of such markers has been shown to accurately predict patient responses in different types of cancers, such as colon cancer, but this has never before been tested in oesophageal cancer. We will also look at a set of markers in patient blood, to see if there is any link between the tumour markers and circulating markers. This will give important information about the immune response in cancer patients responding to treatment.

We will use the latest cutting edge techniques to ensure the most reliable measurements are recorded, and aim to develop predictive tools that may be adopted for routine use by any hospital.


Award Date
29 June 2017
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Margaret Dunne
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Investigator Led Projects