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Red Trouser Day is helping fund a new Blood test to detect Bowel Cancer

‘Expression pattern and clinicopathological relevance of Neurotensin and its receptors in colorectal cancer’

Neurotensin (NT) is a protein, which is found in the brain, the spinal cord and the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, small intestine and large intestine). It is a protein, which plays a role in the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

NT appears to act on cancer cells in large intestinal cancers to increase their growth.

We have so far completed a preliminary pilot study involving 26 patients were levels of NT in blood were measured. The levels of NT were much higher in patients who had bowel cancer compared to those who did not. We have further validated these results in study with 95 patients who were referred for suspected bowel cancer. They also showed a higher level of NT in the blood of patients with cancer compared to those without.

We are currently recruiting patients with diagnosed bowel cancer and measuring the level of NT in blood and also on the cancer tissue after their operation and follow them up with 3 monthly bloods after their treatment.

We are working towards using NT as a future blood test to identify high-risk patients for bowel cancer and also as a test to detect cancer returning, as part of the routine surveillance.

Our research team is comprised of Professor Tekkis, Mr Kontovounisios, Mr Rasheed, Mr Qiu and Miss Nikolaou.