Cancer Research UK has launched a global centre of excellence in London to facilitate research on biotherapeutics as a treatment option for cancer.
The new Cancer Research UK City of London Centre has received a £14m investment from the non-profit cancer research organisation.
Researchers from University College London (UCL), King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and the Francis Crick Institute have joined the centre. The participants comprise specialists in imaging, clinical trials and tumour evolution.
UCL centre lead Tariq Enver said: “Cancer won’t be cured by a biologist or a clinician alone.
“We need physicists, chemists, engineers and mathematicians – researchers from many different disciplines – to come together to tackle the disease in new and innovative ways. The Cancer Research UK City of London Centre will be a catalyst for this scientific collaboration.”
The centre will focus on personalised medicine and work towards developing new biological therapies, including combinations with existing treatments, as lasting cures for cancer.
In addition, the hub is expected to provide cancer patients with improved access to biological therapies and will carry out research on a variety of tumours, including childhood cancers.
Cancer Research UK chief clinician Charles Swanton said: “We now know more about the genetic diversity within tumours, how they evolve, and the body’s immune response to cancer, than ever before.
“There’s a huge opportunity to use this knowledge to develop novel biological therapies that combat tumour evolution and to inform how best to use them in combination with other cancer treatments.”
The researchers will devise an approach to potentially extend the use of immunotherapies from treating children to patients of all age groups, irrespective of their cancer type.
Furthermore, the centre will aim to provide new opportunities for partnership and training.