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Bowel cancer, one of the commonest cancers, is also one of the most studied at the genetic level. About 5% of bowel cancers are clearly inherited in families. Finding the genes involved has been the basis for substantial advances in understanding the genetic changes in the cancers themselves, and their biological consequences. Recent advances in DNA sequencing techniques have considerably added to our knowledge of the genetic changes in the cancer cells and it is these changes that ultimately determine cancer’s behaviour and response to treatment. Cells cultured from cancers and grown in the laboratory can provide excellent models for studying bowel cancer and the factors that determine response to some of the newer targeted treatments.

5th February 2014

Large Chemistry Lecture Theatre
Cardiff University

Cancer & Immunogenetics Laboratory, Weatherall Institute

 of Molecular Medicine and Department of Oncology,

 University of Oxford


Sir Walter Bodmer FRCPath FRS

Bowel Cancer: Genetics, Biology and Drug Response

A drinks reception will be available from 6.45pm

Sir Walter Bodmer

A single CD44+CD24+ cell from the SW1222 colorectal cell line can give rise to a large colony containing multiple differentiated cell types when grown in 3D matrigel: AUA-1 (anti-EPCAM pan- epithelial marker), CDX1 (enterocyte), chromogranin (enteroendocrine), and PRD4 (mucin, goblet cell). Such colonies reproduce themselves and form tumours efficiently in immunocompromised mice. They thus have all the characteristics expected of cancer stem cells.