Summer Student 2017: Diliany Oliveira

Summer Student 2017: Diliany Oliveira

By 01/10/2017 No Comments

Summer Student 2017: Diliany Oliveira

Diliany Oliveira, supervised by Dr Mridula Chopra at the University of Portsmouth, developed a non-animal based screening tool to detect cancer biomarkers and replace the use of animals in prostate cancer research.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer type in the UK. Cancer cells draw nutrition for their growth by connecting to the patient’s blood supply through the formation of small vessels. Without this linking process, cancer cells cannot grow. Currently, the number of vessels can be assessed to predict the aggressive nature and severity of the cancer. However, the method to count vessels involves the use of animal-derived biomaterials, called antibodies. These antibodies are used to stain the patient’s tissue sample in order to visualise vessels.

In her project, Diliany tested a reliable alternate way of measuring the number of the blood vessels, using synthetic chemistry to create specific biological markers that correlate with the aggressive nature and severity of the cancer. These biological markers may provide us with a better understanding of the cancer biology, and allow researchers to design new diagnostics and therapeutic strategies for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer – all without using animals.

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