Improved Patient Outcomes Workstream
We are bringing lab scientists and clinical researchers together to develop new, improved therapies for patients through our innovative Multi-Disciplinary Research Groups model.
We are developing new cancer therapies to improve treatment options available to patients. We have particular strengths in molecularly-targeted ‘biological therapies’ which exploit the differences between cancer cells and normal cells such as:
- Small-molecule drugs which target abnormal cell-signalling processes within the cancer cell
- Immunotherapies which harness the power of the immune system to destroy cancer cells
- Engineered ‘oncolytic’ or ‘cancer-busting’ viruses.
We have already proven our ability to improve access for patients in Wales to the latest developments from laboratories in Wales and elsewhere via clinical trials in NHS Wales’ hospitals. You can find out more about the success of our TaCTiCC trial and forthcoming trial of our innovative anti-Bcl3 drug on our website.
We are determined to increase the availability of clinical trials offering the latest experimental treatments to patients. These are particularly useful for those who have run out of ‘standard’ treatment options. We work closely with academic and commercial sponsors, trials units and clinical research facilities in Cardiff and Swansea to increase the quality, quantity and variety of trials available to patients. Conducting these types of trial helps us identify where treatments can be improved and guide where our laboratory work should focus. Our main strengths lie in:
- Treatments that combine drugs and radiotherapy
- New ways of delivering drugs to cancer cells
- Studies of personalised treatments, including those using a patient’s own immune system to tackle cancer
- New cellular therapies conducted in association with the Wales/Midlands Advanced Therapies Treatment Centre (WM-ATTC).
We continue to develop a portfolio of new radiotherapy trials, with particular expertise in developing personalised studies for lung and upper GI cancers, and an emerging strength in brain cancers. We will design new research studies involving advanced radiotherapy techniques, including:
- Stereotactic radiotherapy, which uses 3D imaging to target high doses of radiation to the affected area with minimal impact on the surrounding healthy tissue.
- Novel combinations of drugs and radiotherapy for more effective combined treatment.
- Proton Beam Therapy, which uses the unique properties of protons to reduce the dose of radiation to critical structure, but is still a very new technology.
In addition, we are working with experts in computer science to employ automation throughout the radiotherapy pathway and to study computerised analysis of imaging data (radiomics) of patients undergoing radiotherapy. The systems we develop for this work will form part of the platform for large scale databasing of patients at different stages of their cancer journey. Our long term aim is to personalise treatment choices for our patients using all available medical and patient-related information.