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Dr Anne Kiltie and her team of scientists in the Department of Oncology are trying to give patients with bladder cancer the information they need to choose between radiotherapy and surgery.

Virtually every cell in the tumour contains a protein called MRE11, but some tumours contain more of this protein than others.  MRE11 is involved in detecting damage to DNA; the same damage caused by radiotherapy, so being able to tell whether different amounts of MRE11 is important for whether radiotherapy works is the next step in this project.

Anne and her group have developed a simple way of detecting the amount of this protein that each cell contains. We could, therefore, test a patient and tell them something about their tumour and how well radiotherapy would work, although we can’t do this until we’re sure that this will be reliable information.

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