New funding for cancer fight

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RESEARCHERS at Sheffield University have been awarded nearly £200,000 to continue research looking at a new group of drugs which can kill cancer tumour cells.

Dr Chryso Kanthou and Professor Gillian Tozer have been awarded the grant from Yorkshire Cancer Research to investigate further how they can improve new drugs following previous research published in the scientific journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Dr Kanthou, from the tumour microcirculation group in the department of oncology, said: “Tumours need blood vessels in order to grow and spread, and several promising treatments with Vascular Disrupting Agents are now being developed to specifically destroy tumour blood vessels.

“VDAs are a group of new drugs in clinical trials that cause rapid, extensive and selective damage to tumour blood vessels by stopping blood flow to the tumour and therefore they indirectly kill tumour cells by starving them of oxygen and nutrients.

“However, these drugs do not currently eradicate tumours completely and blood flow gradually recovers and tumour cells re-grow from cells that escape the treatment, especially around the tumour rim.

“Our research will aim to understand the precise mechanisms through which tumour vessels are damaged by VDAs, and how they eventually resist treatment, re-grow and recover.”