Research Innovation Workshops (previously described as Research Sandpits) stimulate new thinking and innovation, and are particularly effective in promoting the interdisciplinary approaches to solving complex biomedical problems.
These workshops are a useful way of creating an environment, for experts outside of CF and established CF researchers, to explore ways of working together to crack a major problem. Previously we’ve run workshops on understanding gut-related complications of CF and on clinical trials respectively.
Cancer and cystic fibrosis workshop
To better understand the risk of cancer in people with cystic fibrosis, we gathered a multidisciplinary group of experts for a two-day Research Innovation Workshop in November 2018. The aim was to stimulate novel thinking and innovative approaches to understanding more about the overlap of these two conditions.
Multidisciplinary experts from a range of areas attended the workshop. We have asked the participants to develop their ideas into applications for funding.
Exploring the links between CF and cancer
There is emerging evidence that suggests people with CF may be at greater risk of developing some types of cancers, particularly those of the gastrointestinal tract, when compared to the general population.
Several studies show that the risk of colorectal cancer in adults with CF is more than five times greater compared to the general population and occurs at a significantly earlier age. Organ transplantation, with the use of immune modifiers, increases this risk even more.
The objectives of the Research Innovation Workshop were:
- To determine whether cancer is a potential problem for people with cystic fibrosis
- To explore the possible links between CFTR/cystic fibrosis modifier genes/other ion channels such as TMEM16 / ANO1 and cancer
- To explore potential interventions such as novel, less invasive detection methods