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Worm power: Can helminths modify the development of colorectal cancer?

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "WORMTUMORS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: NEWPORT ROAD 30-36
postcode: CF24 ODE

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 203˙200 €
 EC max contribution 203˙200 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-GF
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-08-01   to  2018-07-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    CARDIFF UNIVERSITY UK (CARDIFF) coordinator 203˙200.00


 Project objective

The incidence of cancer is significantly lower in developing areas such as Africa, than in the Western world. These developing regions have a high incidence of helminth infection, which can protect against immune-mediated diseases and are currently being successfully used within clinical trials as novel therapeutics to treat inflammatory bowel disease. As Africa develops, lifestyle and dietary changes will collide with the presence of chronic infectious disease, such as gastrointestinal helminths, increasing the risk of colorectal cancer. The intrinsic immune-suppressive nature of helminth infections is known to be detrimental to the generation of immune responses to other infections and vaccination, and may also impair anti-tumor responses in vivo. We have recently found that local exposure to helminth products can result in increased tumor cell growth and metastasis. Currently, it is unknown how helminth modulation of immunity influences colorectal cancer incidence and progression. This fellowship proposal will make use of an inflammation-associated and spontaneous model of colorectal cancer to test the impact of live helminth infection and exposure to helminth excretory/secretory products on tumor development. It will further dissect the impact of helminth exposure on the innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune response, using multi-colour flow cytometry and cell-specific knockout mice. Furthermore, rescue of an impact of helminth exposure on anti-tumor immunity will be attempted by in vivo cell transfer. This fellowship aims to increase our understanding of how helminth infection contributes to tumor development and may lead to the design of novel therapeutics to improve tumor immunity.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Brittany-Amber Jacobs, Alisha Chetty, William Gordon Charles Horsnell, Georgia Schäfer, Sharon Prince, Katherine Ann Smith
Hookworm exposure decreases human papillomavirus uptake and cervical cancer cell migration through systemic regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition marker expression
published pages: , ISSN: 2045-2322, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-30058-9
Scientific Reports 8/1 2019-07-25
2015 K A Smith, K J Filbey, L A Reynolds, J P Hewitson, Y Harcus, L Boon, T Sparwasser, G Hämmerling, R M Maizels
Low-level regulatory T-cell activity is essential for functional type-2 effector immunity to expel gastrointestinal helminths
published pages: 428-443, ISSN: 1933-0219, DOI: 10.1038/mi.2015.73
Mucosal Immunology 9/2 2019-07-25
2017 Andrew Godkin, Katherine A. Smith
Chronic infections with viruses or parasites: breaking bad to make good
published pages: 389-396, ISSN: 0019-2805, DOI: 10.1111/imm.12703
Immunology 150/4 2019-07-25

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