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BCI and KCL collaboration develops a clinically-relevant CAR-T cell imaging system

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 19 April 2018

BCI and KCL collaboration develops a clinically-relevant CAR-T cell imaging system

A collaboration involving researchers from BCI’s Centre for Molecular Oncology, led by Dr Jane Sosabowski, and the ImmunoEngineering Group of King’s College London (KCL), led by Dr Sophie Papa, has developed an effective and clinically-relevant imaging system to monitor chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells within the body. This system reduced the tumour burden in a pre-clinical model of prostate cancer and allowed for repeated and non-invasive assessment of CAR-T cell localisation.

UK charities join forces to fund the work of Dr Angus Cameron

Posted in General News, Grants & Awards Published by Bethan Warman 05 April 2018

Supporting vital research on pancreatic cancer

UK charities join forces to fund the work of Dr Angus Cameron

BCI’s Dr Angus Cameron, Centre for Tumour Biology, is to receive joint funding from Worldwide Cancer Research and Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund (PCRF) to support vital research on pancreatic cancer. The charities have awarded equal sums totalling £235,000 to support the work of Dr Cameron and his laboratory group.

Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in approximately 9,900 individuals annually in the UK and, although this disease accounts for only 3% of the total cancer cases diagnosed each year in the UK, the prognosis is dismal- with less than 1% of patients surviving for 10 years or more.

Determining the mechanisms of response and resistance to treatment in bladder cancer

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 29 March 2018

Improving the efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors

Determining the mechanisms of response and resistance to treatment in bladder cancer

A worldwide collaboration involving BCI’s Prof Thomas Powles, Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, has revealed mechanisms involved in the development of response and resistance to an immune checkpoint inhibitor in metastatic urothelial cancer. The findings may highlight ways to improve the efficacy of this treatment in the hope of achieving long-term remission for patients.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors, a class of immunotherapeutic drug, have been shown to induce robust responses in patients with a variety of cancer types. These drugs block proteins that prevent the immune system from destroying cancer cells.

Follicular lymphoma marked by spatial tumour heterogeneity

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 23 March 2018

A challenge for targeted therapy

Follicular lymphoma marked by spatial tumour heterogeneity

A research team at the BCI, Queen Mary University of London, led by Dr Jessica Okosun, Centre for Haemato-Oncology, has found that tumours at different sites within the same patient with follicular lymphoma can be genetically diverse. This suggests that a sole biopsy is incapable of capturing all the genetic events in any given individual and presents a significant challenge when providing targeted therapies to treat this disease.

Follicular lymphoma is an incurable blood cancer that is characterised by the production of abnormal B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell involved in fighting infection) that accumulate primarily in the lymph nodes and bone marrow. Approximately 2,300 cases of follicular lymphoma are diagnosed in the UK each year.

Seema Jaswal visits the BCI

Posted in General News, Engagement Published by Bethan Warman 15 March 2018

Celebrating International Women's Day

Seema Jaswal visits the BCI

Last Thursday was International Women’s Day- a day that celebrates the social, political, cultural and economic achievements of women from all over the world. Recently, an inspirational woman, Seema Jaswal- a television and radio presenter- visited us here at the Barts Cancer Institute (BCI) to meet some of our researchers and find out more about the cutting edge research that goes on here.

Seema’s TV career began at Sky Sports where she worked as a Runner before receiving her first presenting job on CBBC Sports Round. Seema’s successful career has since seen her host a variety of events, including the Indian Super League, India’s FIFA U17 World Cup and the Premier League. Last year, Seema was named as one of We Are The City’s Inspirational Women.

Dr Ranjit Manchanda awarded William Blair Bell Memorial Lecture

Posted in General News, Grants & Awards Published by Bethan Warman 09 March 2018

A prestigious prize awarded by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Dr Ranjit Manchanda awarded William Blair Bell Memorial Lecture

Congratulations to our Dr Ranjit Manchanda, Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, who has been awarded the William Blair Bell Memorial Lecture prize. Dr Ranjit Manchanda was awarded with the prize on 8th February and presented his lecture, entitled ‘Population based germline testing and targeted ovarian cancer prevention,’ the following day.

Dr Manchanda said: "It is an honour to have received this prestigious prize. I am humbled by this recognition and will work tirelessly to further this research which I strongly believe will bring about a new paradigm for preventing cancers and saving lives."

Switching on survival signalling to drive drug resistance

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 27 February 2018

Resistance to receptor tyrosine kinase-targeted therapies

Switching on survival signalling to drive drug resistance

Researchers at the Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), Queen Mary University of London, led by Dr Richard Grose, Centre for Tumour Biology, have discovered that the loss of a single protein- PHLDA1- is sufficient for the development of drug resistance to a type of targeted therapy in endometrial and HER2-positive breast cancer cells.

Drugs that target specific pathways in cancer cells- so called targeted therapies- offer promising clinical benefits for cancer patients, with less severe side effects compared with more conventional chemotherapy agents. However, drug resistance- whereby cancer cells find ways to evade the effects of these drugs over time- limits the long-term clinical efficacy of these treatments.

The involvement of the microenvironment in tumour evolution

Posted in General News, Publications Published by Bethan Warman 15 February 2018

Understanding the relationship between tumours and their environment

The involvement of the microenvironment in tumour evolution

For the first time, researchers at the Barts Cancer Institute (BCI), Queen Mary University of London, have profiled what happens at the site of tumour metastasis as cancer grows and develops. By looking closely at the tumour microenvironment (TME), the team led by Professor Fran Balkwill, Lead for the Centre for Cancer & Inflammation, has identified changes that occur as a type of ovarian cancer evolves.

By analysing samples from the omentum- the most common site for cancer spread in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC)- from 36 women with differing degrees of disease severity, the team have gained a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between tumours and their environment during the progression of this type of ovarian cancer.

STORMing Cancer shortlisted for Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge Award

Posted in General News, Grants & Awards Published by Bethan Warman 08 February 2018

The world’s most ambitious cancer research grant

STORMing Cancer shortlisted for Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge Award

STORMing Cancer, a team of multi-disciplinary scientists including our own Dr Stuart McDonald, from the Centre for Tumour Biology, has been shortlisted to the final stages of Cancer Research UK (CRUK)’s Grand Challenge Award- the world’s most ambitious cancer research grant consisting of a series of £20 million awards seeking researchers to tackle cancer’s toughest challenges.

In their proposed project, the team led by Professor Thea Tlsty, University of California, aim to use oesophageal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease-associated colon cancer as models to determine the links between chronic inflammation and cancer development. Dr Stuart McDonald’s work will focus on Barrett’s oesophagus (BE) - a condition in which chronic inflammation leads to the development of pre-cancerous lesions.

World Cancer Day 2018- unite in the fight against cancer

Posted in General News, Engagement Published by Bethan Warman 02 February 2018

World Cancer Day 2018- unite in the fight against cancer

This Sunday, 4th February, is World Cancer Day and marks a day for us all to unite against cancer in a bid to beat this disease sooner.

There are over 200 types of cancer, and the money raised by fundraisers on behalf of several charities allows for researchers to identify and develop new diagnostic tools and treatments to fight cancer. Thanks to the efforts of the public and the charities, money raised for cancer research has helped double some cancer survival rates in the last 40 years. Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has been fundraising with Unity Bands for this event to raise money for ground-breaking cancer research. Cancer affects us all and each of us can play a part in the fight against cancer- it’s not too late to get involved, buy your Unity Band today!

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