RTD teamed up with RMCH, Joint Research Committee of Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust and Imperial College to support PHD student, Stella Nikolaou, in quest for a routine blood test that can be used to identify high risk patients for bowel cancer and to indicate the return of cancer before it can be detected by other means. She is working on the thesis that Neurotensin, a protein which plays a role in the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, can indicate high risk of bowel cancer.

Stella has completed the recruitment of 110 patients with polyps and bowel cancer and started the analysis of the expression of Neurotensin in blood. She and her team have also started preparing the tissue slides from the cancer samples and optimizing the staining protocol for Neurotensin and its receptors before they stain all of the samples. This is led by Professor Goldin at St Mary’s Hospital pathology lab. The staining of all the samples is expected to be finished by the end of November 2019. The team will then analyse the expression of Neurotensin and its receptors on the tissue and correlate it with the stage of disease and Neurotensin blood level.

Results from this research are now imminent (Oct 2019)