A study of molecules from the gut (chemokines) and their role in the development of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Colorectal Cancer 

Study code

Lead researcher
Dr Gideon Hirschfield

Study type
Participant re-contact

Institution or company
University of Birmingham

Researcher type

Speciality area

Recruitment Site


The purpose of this study is to find out more about the molecules that are produced by the gut which might be involved in causing cancer, liver, joint and skin diseases. These molecules are called chemokines. Chemokines direct white blood cells to areas of inflammation to help fight off cancer cells. In some liver diseases the liver produces similar chemokines to the gut and we believe this can cause white blood cells to damage the liver. Similarly chemokines can cause disease in joint and skin tissue, and alter the way white blood cells kill tumour cells but we need to prove this. One way of doing this is to measure the levels of chemokines and other proteins which cause inflammation in tissue in people with liver, gut or inflammatory bowel diseases. We can also remove cells from these tissues and see how white blood cells react to these samples in the laboratory. 

Participation: For this study we recruited 42 participants from the Cambridge BioResource between the ages of 16 and 80 to give a single 70ml blood sample. Samples were collected by the BioResource team on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

Organisation: This study is organised by Dr Gideon Hirschfield at the Centre for Liver Research and NIHR Biomedical Research Unit, University of Birmingham.