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Knowledge is power when trying to beat bowel cancer

Thanks to better awareness and advanced treatments, many more people with bowel cancer are now surviving longer. But scientists still don’t understand all the intricate mechanisms which drive the disease. Dr Tracy Putoczki at the The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia, is using her new grant from Worldwide Cancer Research to find out more about how bowel cancer spreads.

Bowel cancer is one of the top three most common cancers in the world. Over 1.3 million new cases were diagnosed in 2012 alone. These figures show exactly how huge the need is to keep improving bowel cancer diagnosis and treatment. The better scientists can understand how this cancer works, the better chance they have of developing new treatments.

In April 2014 we awarded Dr Putoczki and her colleagues funding to investigate the molecular mechanisms of bowel cancer. She is particularly interested in a protein called IL-11, which her team has already found is present at high levels in the disease. She hopes this work might reveal new target proteins which could be switched on or off by novel cancer drugs. The development of new treatments, they will improve bowel cancer treatment even more.

Dr Putoczki has been awarded £206,312 for her 3 year study.

(Photo Credit: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute)