Dr Ryan Cohen
Dr Ryan Cohen
Dr Ryan Cohen

Dr Ryan Cohen

‘Predicting colorectal cancer metastatic risk: the tumour immune microenvironment, circulating tumour-derived exosomes, their integrins and tumour DNA as biomarkers of disease progression’

University of Western Australia, WA
Awarded 2020
Co-funded by Rotary District 9465

“I feel deeply responsible for pursuing and developing our knowledge of colorectal cancer and subsequently improving patient outcomes.”

General Health PhD Scholarship

Researcher Profile

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Australia, I commenced my medical training at the University of Notre Dame. I have subsequently worked as a doctor in both the public and private health sectors, being involved in the treatment of a number of patients with colorectal cancer.

I am currently involved in medical education at the University of Notre Dame and have completed further post-graduate training in health professional education.

Project Summary

Colorectal (bowel) cancer is the second most common cancer and major cause of death in Australia. Survival is poor if the cancer comes back after surgery (recurrence). Early detection of colorectal cancer recurrence allows for treatment, however, we have no way of knowing in which patients this will happen. We need to develop new ways to identify those patients at greatest risk and most likely to benefit from earlier detection.

This study will review four potential markers of colorectal cancer recurrence:

  1. Cancer DNA released into the bloodstream
  2. Cancer cell fragments released into the bloodstream
  3. Molecules on the surface of cancer cell fragments in the bloodstream
  4. Immune cells attacking the cancer

Blood and cancer samples, already collected from over 1,000 patients with colorectal cancer will be analysed to study the relationship between the above markers and patient survival.

Supervisors: Professor Cameron Platell, Dr Melanie McCoy, Dr Katie Meehan and Dr Kathy Fuller

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