“Breaking the walls of the causes of cancer”


Chiara CS

Café Scientifique is a place where the general public are able to meet scientists in an informal and relaxed environment. For a price of a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, anyone is welcome to attend and explore the latest ideas, curiosities and challenges of science and technology.

I was thrilled when I was invited to share my research with the public at Café Scientifique. It was a great opportunity for me to talk about something I really care about, not only as a scientist but as a person: cancer is a complex group of devastating diseases with multiple causes, and what scares many people about it is that the bare facts indicate that 1 in 2 people in the UK will get cancer in their lifetime. However, thanks to ongoing research and the development of new treatments many people are now cured. That’s why talking about this becomes critical.

My talk was focussed on the causes of cancer, in particular prostate cancer and its strong association with eating habits, obesity and inflammation. I wanted to highlight the complexity of the causes of cancer and how we, as a group of young scientists working together are using a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to unlock the complex challenges typical of modern health research. Specifically, the EU funded TRAIN Consortium came together as a group of 30 PhD students and their supervisors working together in 8 locations across Europe to uncover the crosstalk between cancer, inflammation and metabolism. Why this is so important is because it is critical to look at the cancer from many different aspects and disciplines  and this is what our diverse team allows us to do. On top of this though  what I really wanted to achieve through this outreach activity, was to convince the audience that looking after our health is everything. We cannot control genetics and unfortunately we cannot (currently) control the environmental we live in. However, if there is  one thing we can do it  is to eat healthily, keep active  and avoid a sedentary life.  Cancer can be  a curable disease but we need to do our bit to protect and love ourselves!