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Investigating fibroblast influence on the gastric cancer microenvironment

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Florence de Roo
Associate Professor Sharon Pattison
Dr Silke Neumann
Dr Adele Woolley
Professor Parry Guilford
Health issue:
Cancer (oncology)
Proposal type:
Clinical Research Training Fellowship
Lay summary
Gastric cancer is more than one disease, having two main subtypes that show markedly different appearances microscopically, yet it is treated as one disease. New Zealand has unique gastric cancer epidemiology, with Māori being one of the few populations that have a higher incidence of the subtype of gastric cancer that shows poorer outcomes and resistance to commonly used treatments. We have identified a protein complex which has known roles in signalling to the immune system that impacts survival from different types of gastric cancer in different ways. Like most solid cancers, gastric cancer is made of more than just “cancer cells”, and includes supportive stromal cells such as fibroblasts and immune cells. This project will investigate whether fibroblasts in the tumour microenvironment are influencing survival from gastric cancer through expression of this protein complex, aiming to identify a new avenue for treatment to improve outcomes from gastric cancer.