Flinders researchers are aiming to find methods of early detection for one of the deadliest forms of cancer - oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
Dr Damian Hussey will use a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to investigate whether two DNA biomarkers – originally developed for detection of colorectal cancer – can also be detected in the blood of patients with early stage oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
Dr Hussey’s previous work found the biomarkers are positive in a significant number of patients with late stage oesophageal adenocarcinoma, but this new project will test whether the same biomarkers can be detected in dysplasia which has not yet turned into invasive cancer, or Barrett’s oesophagus – a precursor to oesophageal adenocarcinoma
Oesophageal adenocarcinoma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer with an overall
mortality rate of 85-90 per cent. Over the past 40 years the incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma has increased six-fold throughout the western world, especially in men.
If it is found that these biomarkers can be detected in earlier disease stages, it could pave the way for more intensive monitoring of patients at increased risk, or risk of recurrence, to improve chances of early detection and treatment options.
This research is made possible thanks to ‘Team Tony’ – the friends and family of Tony Duncan – and generous support from the community and our partners Mr Riggs Wine Company, Foodland, Drakes Supermarkets and Bay to Birdwood.
Project title: Evaluation of IKZF1/BCAT1 promoter methylation in blood plasma and exosomes for potential use in clinical management of oesophageal neoplasia.
Lead researcher: Dr Damian Hussey
Flinders Foundation acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the land on which the Flinders precinct was established. We acknowledge the Kaurna people’s deep and ongoing connection to land, waters and community, and pay our respect to their Elders, past and present.