Researchers Receive Funding in Order to Study Difficult to Treat Cancers

According to a story from, a group of scientists at the University of Birmingham have a received funding to the tune of £3 million in order to conduct research on a variety of rare and hard to treat cancers. The funding came from the charity Cancer Research UK, and will go towards the continuation of projects from Dr. Daniel Tennant and Dr. Clare Davies. Their funding proposals detail recent findings that could help improve outcomes for a variety of aggressive cancers that are known for their resistance to treatment and tendency to relapse. These include glioblastoma, esophageal, and pancreatic cancers, all of which have very poor survival rates.

Dr. Davies has recently been focusing on breast cancer research, and her team has managed to discover a protein that appears to be linked to bad survival rates. The protein is called PRMT5, can while it was first identified in breast cancer by them team, the protein can be found in association with many types of cancer and appears to contribute to cancer growth and the ability of a tumor to resist treatment. The first step for Davies will be continuing down this research route in order to determine precisely how PRMT5 is able to strengthen cancer. From there, she hopes that they team will eventually be able to determine what sort of cancer patients will be able to see benefits from therapies that target PRMT5.

For Dr. Tennant, his research has focused on the targeting of the most drug resistant cells found in some of the most deadly types of cancer, such as triple negative breast cancer and glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. Brain cancers are difficult to treat because of potential damage to the brain from conventional treatments and the fact that many therapies are not designed to pass the blood-brain barrier, which is necessary for drugs to actually reach the tumor. So far, he has learned that the most resistant cancer cells often receive a lower amount of oxygen compared to other cells. His research team is developing a new technique in order to determine which molecules allow these low oxygen cancer cells to become so resistant and survive.

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