The research in the Cancer Theme is designed to:
- understand the basic causes of childhood cancer
- develop novel treatments based on this knowledge
- apply these in the clinic.
A broad, multidisciplinary research programme is essential to make major advances in the treatment of cancer. The study of many contributing factors is important – from the biochemical and genetic changes in individual cancer cells to the factors affecting the individual child's response to treatment and the epidemiology of different types of cancer.
Understanding the development of normal tissues is particularly relevant to paediatric cancers. Inherited predisposition plays a major role and the study of inherited cancer syndromes can shed light on more common cancers.
The majority of cancer patients at GOSH enter clinical trials. These are seen as the best way of improving treatment. As cure rates improve, the study of the long-term effects of cancer treatment has become increasingly important. Improved palliative care remains vital for those who cannot be readily cured.
In the Cancer Theme we have established a world-class research centre which uses all the available tools of modern molecular biology. We are particularly interested in applying these to investigate the causes of childhood leukaemia and paediatric solid tumours.
We are expert in technologies as diverse as:
- growing blood stem cells in culture
- cloning genes which contribute to the growth and survival of tumour cells
- using gene chips to simultaneously quantify the level of expression of all the genes coded for by the human genome within a single tissue at a given time, eg in response to a particular drug.
A number of new projects focus on developing vaccines that may be useful for treating both leukaemia and solid tumours.
Cells are continuously dying within our body as part of normal physiological processes. A central theme of our work is the study of basic mechanisms of cell death as well as its role in the development of cancer. There is a seamless connection between the clinic and the research bench as all our scientists and clinicians constantly share their data and exchange ideas.
Page last modified on 22 apr 10 12:07