December 2021

A research project funded by the British Skin Foundation has been jointly awarded the coveted Stewart Cameron Science Award at the Royal Society of Medicine Nephrology President’s Day in Edinburgh.

The ceremony which took place earlier this month saw Dr Matthew Bottomley and his team recognised for their vital work into immune ageing and the risk of skin cancer in renal transplant recipients.

The winners at the award ceremony
Image courtesy of Stephen McAdoo.

Dr Bottomley explains,

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in this group and is a major cause of worry and illness, as it often recurs elsewhere on the skin after the first has been removed. We presented data showing that we have identified a marker in blood that might identify patients at the greatest risk of developing skin cancer and other cancers later on.

When we looked in great depth at the cancers that had been removed from patients in our study, we found our marker was associated with a fundamental change in the immune response to the cancer, potentially explaining our findings.

It’s really exciting news because if we can identify patients who may be more likely to develop skin cancer or are more likely to have problems with recurrent skin cancer, before it happens then we may be able to develop new treatments and interventions to prevent the skin cancer in the first place.

Dr Bottomley in the lab

Top of page shows an immunofluorescence image of the immune interaction with squamous cell carcinoma. The blue dots are nuclei, the green is pancytokeratin (representing the tumour) and red dots represent CD8+ T cells. The outlines are the areas the team analysed the gene expression of, using spatial transcriptomics (a cutting-edge technique).

Read more about Dr Bottomley’s work here.

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