Research & Outcomes

There are a number of research projects that we are currently involved in. Through a link with the University of East Anglia and the Institute of Food Research a number of junior doctors have obtained MD theses through our department. Current work involves examination of human stem cells in the colon and in Barretts Oesophagus, a pre-malignant disease of the oesophagus. The lab in the school of Biology is run by Dr Mark Williams. The work has been published and presented:

A novel 3D ex vivo model of native human Barrett’s oesophagusScobioala-laker, Natalia1; Reynolds, Amy1; Parris, Alyson1; Mitchell, Esther M.1; Lewis, Michael P.3; Kennedy, Hugh J.2; Stebbings, William3; Prior, Alison2; Philips, Martin2; Beales, Ian2; Williams, Mark R, Gut May 2009. Belshaw NJ, Pal N, Tapp HS, Dainty JR, Lewis MP, Williams MR, Lund EK, Johnson IT. Patterns of DNA methylation in individual colonic crypts reveal aging and cancer-related field defects in the morphologically normal mucosa. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Jun;31(6):1158-63.

Future work to be carried out in Barretts Oesophagus will look at the role of bile acids, pH and prostoglandins on the signalling pathways involved in sustaining the columnar cell type by proliferation and cell survival.

Clinical research work is an important aspect of the UGI unit at the NNUH. We have recently finished a prospective randomised trial on fluid restriction in GI cancer surgery which will be published in 2011. This was funded through the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit funding stream. As well as local trials we also enrol to national trials in cancer surgery such as ST03 (a trial of preoperative chemotherapy in stomach cancer).