Research on Factors Influencing the Development and Spread of Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer is one of the malignancies characterised by a high prevalence and high mortality, despite early diagnosis possibilities and a wide range of therapies.
One of the factors that can influence the progression of malignant tumours is inflammation, which promotes tumour cell growth, the formation of new blood vessels, and the invasion of surrounding tissues. Biologically active substances secreted by inflammatory cells contribute to the transformation of tumour cells, giving them the characteristics of mesenchymal cells, known as epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In pathology, this process is characterised by antigens CD44, E-cadherin, N-cadherin, β-catenin, and others localised on the surface of tumour cells.
Haematoxylin-eosin staining of adenocarcinoma of the colon. Photo: Inese Briede
The aim of Inese Briede’s doctoral thesis is to characterise local inflammation in colorectal cancer tissues and its role in tumour progression and association with epithelial-mesenchymal transition, as well as morphological and immunohistochemical parameters characterising DNA repair genes.
The study analysed 553 colorectal cancer cases, evaluated morphological prognostic criteria, and performed immunohistochemical analysis of the samples. It revealed previously unreported associations between tumour stem cells, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and inflammation in human colon cancer tissues. This study also points to a possible role of the immune system, specifically eosinophil leukocytes, in anti-tumour immunity.
Thesis supervisors: RSU Prof. Jānis Gardovskis and RSU Prof. Ilze Štrumfa.
Inese Briede will defend her doctoral thesis “Association of Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition, Stemness and Inflammation in Colorectal Carcinoma” on 13 December 2022.