Investigating molecular vulnerabilities in early-stage disseminating colorectal cancer

  • Aoife Mc Cooey

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Medicine


Early detection of colorectal cancer (CRC) is critical, as > 95% of people diagnosed at stage I will survive. While stage I CRC represents a small proportion of symptomatic CRC cases, 42-48% of cases now diagnosed within the bowel cancer screening programme are at stage I. Despite this good prognosis, a small proportion of the earliest colorectal tumours go on to develop distant metastasis. This is contrary to the classical “linear progression” model of metastasis and suggests that these tumours harbour an early dissemination biology at initiation, rather than the sequential gain of aggressive traits over time. Using a cohort enriched for these highly aggressive T1 tumours, this study aimed to identify and characterise the biology underpinning aggressive early disseminating tumours in CRC.

Thesis embargoed until 31 July 2024
Date of AwardJul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SupervisorPhilip Dunne (Supervisor) & Emma Kerr (Supervisor)


  • Colorectal cancer
  • cancer
  • early detection
  • antioxidants
  • early dissemination
  • Parkinson's disease

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