Predicting the spread of cancer and how we might stop it

Full project name: Development of a molecular biomarker test for metastatic cancer stem cells in oral squamous cell carcinoma

Tag: Predictive tests

Predicative Tests
Leah Palmer - Dr Adrian Biddle
Leah Palmer - Dr Adrian Biddle

Project type:
PhD Studentship

Project Leader:
Dr Adrian Biddle

PhD student Leah Palmer

Commencement date:
July 2018

Length of project:
3 years

Funding provided:


Blizard Institute – Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary University of London

The problem

For oral cancer patients with lymph node metastasis, overall survival at 5 years is around 45% lower than in patients where their cancer has not spread to the lymph node. It is the single most important predictor of outcome and an important factor in treatment decisions however, it is currently very difficult to predict which tumours will become metastatic.

This results in poor tailoring of treatment to individual patients. For example, 25% of patients diagnosed as node-negative then turn out to have nodal metastasis and thereby miss out on vital surgery to treat the cancer.

A test that predicts the likelihood of metastasis would enable tailored treatment decisions; aggressive treatment could be  targeted to the highest risk patients and aim to improve survival whilst unnecessary treatment could be avoided in low risk patients.

The research
The future
The Blizard Institute
The Blizard Institute

Help fund this project

For more information on funding our Research Projects please email us

Donate now and together we can save more lives by beating cancer sooner.