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Academic Projects

Use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and disease progression in breast cancer patients

 

PhD student: Janine Glover

Academic background

Janine Glover graduated with a Master’s degree in Pharmacy from the Queen’s University Belfast in 2007.  She completed her Pre-registration training in the community setting and registered with the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland in 2008.

 

Title of project

Use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and disease progression in breast cancer patients

 

Project outline

There is a growing body of evidence that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may protect against the development of cancer, including breast cancer.  The inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) may be the underlying mechanism.  COX-2 is expressed in 40% of human breast cancers and COX-2 expression has been shown to enhance cell motility and invasiveness of human breast cancer cells, so COX-2 inhibition by NSAIDs may have a role not only in the prevention of breast cancer but also in its treatment.  However, few human studies have examined the relationship between use of NSAIDs post cancer diagnosis and cancer progression.

 

The proposed study aims to link diagnostic, treatment and survival data on breast cancer patients from the Northern Ireland Cancer Register (NICR) to primary care prescribing data from the Northern Ireland Electronic Prescribing and Eligibility System (EPES).  If successful, this linkage will provide information on routine NSAID use following the diagnosis of breast cancer that may be queried to determine whether NSAIDs users have better recurrence-free survival and overall survival than patients who do not use these drugs.  Other suitable national sources of data will also be explored.  Successful completion of the study may lead to simple changes in the management of breast cancer patients to improve long term outcomes for these patients.

 

Supervisors

Professor Liam Murray, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences

Professor Carmel Hughes, School of Pharmacy

 

Period of studentship

October 2009 to September 2012