Cancer metastasis, the spread of cancer from its primary location, is responsible for around 90% of cancer-related deaths. Understanding how cancer cells spread around the body is therefore a key strand of the ICR’s work and Discovery Club members and guests were given an insight into this crucial area of research at our latest Discovery Club event at the Royal Society.
Following an introduction by the ICR’s Chief Executive, Professor Alan Ashworth, guests heard from Professor Clare Isacke how cancer cells invade the surrounding tissue, spread throughout the body and prove resistant to treatment. She also highlighted the pioneering work of several ICR scientists: Dr Andrew Reynolds and Dr Fernando Calvo, who are researching the ways in which the body supports tumour spread with a view to identifying new therapies to target the disease, and Dr Nicola Valeri and Dr Marco Gerlinger, who are studying how tumour cells can evolve to become resistant to treatment and are trying to identify new treatment strategies to prevent or delay this from happening.
Dr Chris Bakal, provided a thoroughly engaging explanation of the cell signalling processes that control cancer growth and spread, featuring the Prime Minister and the Chelsea midfield! Mapping the cellular networks involved in the spread of cancer is essential to the development of new, personalised anti-metastatic cancer drugs and Dr Bakal’s team have pinpointed a number of genes that allow cancerous cells to change shape and spread around the body, which may be useful targets for such drugs.
The Discovery Club offers its members a programme of events to keep them updated on the ICR’s progress and the developments which are made possible by their philanthropic support. The Discovery Club aims to raise £1million each year to support key projects that will greatly enhance our scientists’ ability to create the most effective, personalised treatments for cancer patients.
To join The Discovery Club or to find out more, please contact Katy Scruton, Donor Development Manager on 020 7153 5304 or by email at [email protected].