UK to develop new treatments for cancer drug resistance

May 17, 2019

UK’s Institute of Cancer (ICR) recent £75million investment on a centre to develop drugs against treatment-resistant cancer could idealise a breakthrough within the next decade. The ICR’s new Centre for Drug Discovery at its south London campus is intended to bring together almost 300 scientists from different disciplines to overcome/redirect cancer evolution.

Chief Executive Professor Paul Workman of ICR has said drug resistance is the foremost challenge, but with reformed ideas on cancer and its treatment – ICR’s will base the theories of Charles Darwin in the hunt for new therapies- the disease will hopefully be “more curable/manageable” in the future.

Cancer cells can smartly adapt, evolve and thrive, making conventional treatments such as chemotherapy ineffective against them and he weakened immunity caused is a major relapse threat. Early-stage experiments of counter-ideas thus far include drugs that limit a cancer’s growth; “evolutionary herding” that makes a cancer more vulnerable to drugs; and multiple therapies that weaken or present an impossible hurdle for cancer to overcome.

Scientists aim to use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict and influence the evolution of cancer cells and create biological weaknesses that can be exploited. Artificial intelligence and mathematical predictive methods have huge potential to understand cancer and predicts outcomes and responses to treatment, according to Dr. Andrea Sottoriva, Deputy Director of Cancer Evolution at the centre.

Researchers are already developing new drugs designed to stop a protein molecule which is part of the immune system hijacked by many cancer types to speed up the rate of mutation and evolution of drug resistance in its cells.

However, Professor Workman said laboratory testing and clinical trials would take time before the new drugs are available to patients. He believes that further research can optimise cancer treatment, so patients can live longer and with a better quality of life.


Category: Pharmaceuticals

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