Cancer research student running for charity

A record 18,000 people will be running in Cardiff’s half marathon on Sunday but Swansea University staff and students will be cheering on one of their students who is running to raise money for Tenovus.

Swansea University first year PhD student Julia Davies, who is being funded by Tenovus, is working with the Reproductive Biology Group in the College of Medicine, studying the mechanisms behind womb (endometrical) cancer development. 

Endometrial (womb) cancer, is the most common gynaecological cancer in western countries. Risks leading to this cancer include excess estrogen, hormone replacement therapy, treatment with Tamoxifen, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and obesity. These 'risk factors' can also promote inflammation, which can influence cancer development. The Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products (RAGE) is a protein involved in stimulating inflammation, and it seems to have an important role in cancer development.

Swansea University’s research group have found that RAGE is active in the endometrium of women with PCOS where some patients have an increased risk in developing endometrial cancer, and that the breast cancer therapy Tamoxifen can turn on RAGE in the endometrium. The group will now investigate if RAGE is active in endometrial cancer, and if so look at the effects it has in patients. Once this is confirmed we can consider targeting RAGE with medicines to control it, thereby blocking endometrial cancer development.

Julia Davies

Julia said: “ I am very pleased to have been selected to be one of only 19 PhD students in Wales to be supported by Tenovus. Also I am delighted to be running to raise money for Tenovus, who have been so supportive in helping me with my studies. Womb cancer is widespread in Western countries and to be able to stop its development is important. I hope that our research will find new ways to treat and prevent womb cancer”.