What we Fund: Scientific Research

Title: Addressing Hypoxia as a New Target for Treatment of Asbestos-induced Cancer

Grant awarding partner : British Lung Foundation

Amount awarded: £111,750

Main researcher: Professor Marija Krstic-Demonacos

Start date: February 2017

Expected end date: September 2019

Detailed info: The role of hypoxia (low oxygen) in cancer has been extensively studied and this has disclosed intriguing insights into how low oxygen levels favour cancer development and progression. This study will investigate the consequences of low oxygen levels in mesothelioma and develop a new class of drug that tackles these, hopefully stopping cancer growth.

Title: Genomics of Peritoneal Malignancy including rare forms of mesothelioma

Co-funder: Peritoneal Malignancy Institute Basingstoke

Amount awarded: £19,926 (total study cost £49,926)

Main researcher: Professor Sarah Ennis

Start date:  March 2019

Expected end date: August 2019

Detailed info: This project aims to characterise peritoneal cancers, with a focus on peritoneal mesotheliomas, to catalogue the key transformative genetic changes driving these tumours.

Progress report September 2019 (PDF) 

Title: Immunotherapy for malignant mesothelioma using IL-6-neutralising CAR T-cells.

Grant awarding partner : British Lung Foundation

Amount awarded: £149,977.16

Main researcher: Dr John Maher

Start date:  TBC

Expected end date: TBC

Detailed info: More effective treatments are required for patients with mesothelioma. One approach involves teaching a type of white blood cell, called a “T cell”, to recognise and destroy tumour cells. This project aims to move this technology closer to clinical trials by developing a better approach that is likely to have fewer side effects.

Title: MEDUSA - Finding the Achilles’ heel(s) of mesothelioma by interrogating genomic evolution

Grant awarding partner : British Lung Foundation

Amount awarded: £149,930.00

Main researcher: Dr Edward Hollox

Start date: January 2018

Expected end date: January 2020

Detailed info: This study aims to discover more about the genetic mutations that drive mesothelioma, and how these evolve over time and in different parts of a tumour. This will help identify new targets for the development of a range of new drugs that will hopefully kill all cancerous cells and prevent relapse.

Title: A new approach for personalising therapy for mesothelioma

Grant awarding partner : British Lung Foundation

Amount awarded: £149,755.96

patients using a targeted, drug-based strategy

Main researcher: Professor Dean Fennell

Start date: January 2016

Expected end date: June 2019

Detailed info: It is now more than a decade since the original clinical trial that defined the only approved standard of care for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma, i.e. pemetrexed and cisplatin chemotherapy. Following relapse after this treatment, unfortunately, there is no standard treatment option. This research will provide the scientific basis upon which to build a successful trial of a new drug candidate in mesothelioma, called a CDK4/6 inhibitor.