About the Foundation
The Emer Casey Foundation is dedicated to providing funding to the DISOVARY consortium to secure the best independent research to detect the early signs of Uterine/Ovarian cancer. Following Emer's death in June 2006 the Casey family promised they would do all they could to help this research in the hope of securing a future of early detection. The Emer Casey Foundation is currently sponsoring three Phd Fellowship students, whose focus is in the areas of chemoresistance, cancer stem cells, circulating tumour cells and the body's immune response to cancer. The scientists have already identified a panel of proteins that can be identified in the blood of ovarian cancer patients. They have developed a near patient testing device to assess a patient's response to chemotherapy and are currently working on new ways to isolate circulating tumour cells in a patient's blood.
Please click on Research Updates to the right of the screen for further details of the work currently being conducted by the Emer Casey Foundation Fellows
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynaecological malignancy in the western world. The poor survival of ovarian cancer patients can be attributed to 1) lack of standardised screening test 2) late presentation of disease 3) high rate of recurrence 4) development of chemoresistance and 5) poorly understood disease biology. The DISCOVARY consortium is dedicated to addressing these problems.
Other ongoing DISCOVARY consortium projects include:
- Investigation the role of low oxygen concentrations in the development of chemoresistant disease.
- Establishing the role of miRNAs in ovarian cancer (miRNAs are recently discovered molecules that control the expression of genes). These molecules may play an important role in the diagnosis and management of ovarian cancer.
- Investigating how an ovarian cancer cell spreads to other parts of the body, we believe they are coated with platelets (blood cells) and this allows them to evade the immune system.
- Targeting cancer stem cells in ovarian cancer (there is increasing evidence that a subset of cells, termed cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for long-term maintenance of tumour growth in several cancers and these cells are responsible for the tumour growing back and not responding to chemotherapy).
The consortium has a number of other projects in the pipeline and have applied to various funding agencies to support this work. These projects focus on the role of oxygen concentration and its association with the cancer stem cell, elimination metastasis and recurrence, ultimately improving survival for ovarian cancer patients. The Department of Histopathology and the DISCOVARY consortium are the first site in Ireland to acquire the Solid System Sequencing (Applied Biosystems). This state of the art technology is an invaluable resource and will allow the consortium to perform world class research and publish in high impact journals. The Foundation relies on fundraising to provide this invaluable research. From our sponsors, to those who take part in our annual 10k run/walk or raise money at local fundraising events we are eternally grateful to everyone who supports our work, in any way, big or small.
Click on the progress report to the right of the screen for details of some of the exciting developments made by the Emer Casey fellows to date.