The relationship between tumour and host in gastrointestinal neoplasms

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    The relationship between tumour and host in gastrointestinal neoplasms



  • Contact name

    David Chang

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

  • Identifier

    PCL/22/03, Chief Scientist Office Postdoctoral Clinical Lectureship; PGS21/10084, Rosetrees Trust; Project S21-06, Tenovus Scotland; Precision-Panc platform (C51058/A25407), Cancer Research UK; Scotland Centre (CTRQQR-2021\100006), Cancer Research UK; GN22ON553, NHS GG&C R&I Reference number; 22-23-067, Beatson Cancer Charity

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    5 years, 0 months, 0 days

  • Research summary

    Gastrointestinal neoplasms are a devastating group of tumours with minimal improvement in outcomes in contrast to other tumour types. The biology of these cancers and pre-cancerous lesions is very variable on multiple levels. At a cellular level ("tumour" level), molecular differences exist between tumours from different patients, in spite of the tumours looking the same under the microscope. The composition of tumour tissue can also be highly variable from one patient to the next, and different cell types within the tumour tissue will interact with each other in different ways between patients.

    On a clinical level ("host" level), some patients will develop recurrence of their cancer early on following an operation, whereas some will survive for many years. Of those who do develop recurrence, the specific site of recurrence (liver, lung etc.) has been shown to impact survival in certain cancer types. Some patients will also develop cachexia (a complex syndrome driven by cancer-associated loss of skeletal muscle mass) and others will not, and patients exhibit very different responses to and tolerances of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.

    This project aims to understand the relationship between these "tumour" factors (molecular, cellular and microenvironmental) and "host" factors (survival, recurrence, cachexia), and how they impact each other. By analysing these tumours on a cellular and microscopic level using a variety of techniques, a deep molecular profile of individual cancers and pre-cancerous lesions can be created. This can be compared to clinical information including (but not limited to) survival, recurrence, pathological outcomes, response to chemotherapy, body composition, systemic inflammation, and microbiome. By developing a better understanding of the relationship between these features, fundamental differences between patients with good outcomes versus poor outcomes can be defined. This will lay foundations for therapeutic targeting of these features and ultimately improve outcomes for patients with these devastating tumours.

  • REC name

    London - Riverside Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    4 Aug 2023

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion