This PhD is part funded through the Knowledge and Economy Skills Scholarship 2 Programme which you can find out more about here
Kidney cancer, or Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC) is the seventh most common cancer type in the UK, accounting for 4% of all new cancer diagnoses. Around one third of kidney cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage where the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, and it is often only discovered during treatment for an unrelated disease. At this stage it is often already too late for treatment to be successful, with only 37% surviving for more than one year when diagnosed at Stage 4, so earlier diagnosis is a key priority for kidney cancer research.
My project will focus on a protein called CD200 which is overexpressed on the surface of kidney cancer cells to help the cell hide from the immune system. The goal of my project is to understand why CD200 is overexpressed by cancer cells and how it is released into the blood stream and urine. Using this knowledge we may be able to test for CD200 to detect and diagnose suspected kidney cancer at an earlier stage, allowing treatments to start earlier, resulting in a better outcome for the patient.