The role of Tumour Necrosis Factor in Human Disease

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr John Bradley

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Cambridge

Researcher type

Speciality area
Cancer, Kidney Disorders

Recruitment Site


The researchers involved in this study are studying the role of a molecule called tumour necrosis factor in the development and progression of human disease. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF) was originally described as a molecule that could kill cancer cells, but has since been implicated in a number of different diseases. Anti-TNF treatment is now commonly used to treat a range of inflammatory conditions, and may have a role in some forms of cancer. Tumour necrosis factor exerts its effects by interacting with different receptors on the surface of cells. One type of receptor can initiate events that cause cells to die, whereas the other form of receptor may cause cells to grow and take on new roles and functions.

The proposed research aims to define whether common genetic variations in the receptors for TNF can alter how individuals respond to TNF, and whether this information could be used to predict responses to anti-TNF treatment. We plan to study white blood cells purified from the blood of healthy volunteers to determine whether common variations in the receptors for TNF alter how the cells respond to TNF when cultured in the laboratory.