Thursday, 2 October 2014

School research to benefit cancer patients: skeletal repair after treatment for cancer

Unfortunately skeletal damage is a common occurrence following radiotherapy for breast or prostate cancer and hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) is increasingly being used to repair this damage. How HBO improves bone tissue was unclear until work published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research by a group led by Dr Simon Fox (Associate Professor in Molecular Pathology & Programme Lead for BSc Biomedical Sciences) in collaboration with the Diving Disease Research Centre established a mechanism of action.  Using a novel cell culture system developed at the university, simon and Dr Hadil Al-Hadi showed that HBO reduced the amount of bone resorbed by skeletal cells. This would help preserve skeletal structural integrity at affected sites and potentially enable a better outcome for patients.  This work highlights the beneficial effect of HBO in the clinic and paves the way for future studies by the group examining the impact of HBO on bone formation using this system and also directly in patients undergoing HBO.  Please follow the links for further information on HBO and the work of the bone Bone Group at UoP.

A human osteoclast the primary                                   Trabecular bone showing areas of                        Hyperbaric chamber 
cell responsible for bone resorption                              formation and resorption used to expose cells to
in the skeleton  HBO Therapy

Simon is an enthusiastic researcher who welcomes interest in his research field.  Simon has provided a wealth of research opportunities for school pupils, undergraduate & postgraduate MSc and PhD students as well as post-doctoral positions. Are you interested in undertaking a research project in Simon’s Bone group?