About This Project
Lung cancer is the single largest cause of cancer mortality, accounting for about 19% of all cancer deaths. Lung cancer is almost entirely driven by chemical carcinogens, notably PAH, found in smoke, which accumulate over time in the lungs of smokers. The experiment will visualise the removal of a fluorescent PAH carcinogen(benzo(a)pyrene) from epithelial cells by treatment with two perfluorocarbon liquids, under UV fluorescent microscopy.
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What is the context of this research?
Lung cancer remains the largest cause of cancer death globally for several decades, accounting for nearly 20% of all cancer deaths (IARC factsheets). The vast majority of lung cancer patients, 85%-90%, are individuals exposed to tobacco smoke (IARC MONOGRAPHS). The remaining cases are correlated to occupational exposure to other carcinogens through different mechanisms.
What is the significance of this project?
Smokers develop lung cancer primarily because of an accumulation of chemical carcinogens. Because we know chemical carcinogens are the primary driver for lung cancer, the effective removal of chemical carcinogens may be a solution for reducing lung cancer rates. Chemical carcinogens become DNA adducts that lead to mutations in DNA. Our hypothesis is that reducing the concentration of chemical carcinogens in the lungs in a patient will reduce the incidence of lung cancer in that patient. To test this we hypothesize that cancer cells treated with perfluorocarbon liquids will show a lower concentration of chemical carcinogens when compared to untreated cells.
What are the goals of the project?
To test our hypothesis we will culture epithelial cells in vitro. The experimental groups will be treated with two perfluorocarbon liquids , which will act as a carcinogen solvent. Since the model carcinogen(benzo(a)pyrene) is UV fluorescent and perfluorocarbon is not UV fluorescent we expect that epithelial cells treated with perfluorcarbon will be less fluorescent when compared to untreated epithelial cells. If this hypothesis is supported by our data, perfluorcarbon may be a solution for removing carcinogens like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon from the lungs of patients before lung cancer develops.
Materials are the perfluorocarbon liquids and model PAH carcinogen, in this instance benzo(a)pyrene, to be purchased from Sigma-Aldrich.
Materials costs also include the epithelial cells which will be used as a model, from University College London(UCL), UK.
UV microscopy lab time, is the fee for using the UV microscope and laboratory, UCL, UK.
Time lapse of visualisation of a UV fluorescent carcinogen within cells being treated with two perfluorocarbon liquid carcinogen solvents, and two proposed perfluorocarbon liquid carcinogen solvents.
Sep 01, 2017
Timelapse of two treatment groups and one control group
Sep 04, 2017
Meet the Team
No results found for "biotech flaneur", so that's original at least.
A man who saunters around observing society.
French, from flâner ‘saunter, lounge’.
Mixed race, born in New York City, USA.
Child of the UN, literally, parents worked for the UNHCR and WHO, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and World Health Organisation.
Enjoyed playing sports, including rugby, rowing, cricket, basketball, and skiing.
Grew up near Geneva, Switzerland, and attended school in the United Kingdom.
Learnt to drive in Baghdad, Iraq, and visited Babylon, the ancient ruins not the TV set.
Studied biochemistry at Imperial College and London Metropolitan, developed interest in lung cancer research as I am a smoker.
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