UCL Cancer Institute


Precision Cancer Treatment

16 October 2015

UCL Cancer Institute Seminar Series - Dr Ricky Sharma: 'Precision cancer treatment: Biological imaging and combination of new drugs with focal radiotherapy.'


Dr Sharma explains why he believes biological imaging will be essential to the advancement of precision cancer therapy and to the success of new drug-radiotherapy combinations. 

UCL Cancer Institute Seminar Series
Cancer Trials Centre
90 Tottenham Court Road
5th floor seminar room
Monday 19th October

Over the next 10 years, radiotherapy has the potential to advance as rapidly as cancer imaging has done over the past 15 years.  Our technical ability to target radiotherapy selectively to cancer cells is becoming a reality.  However, a significant gap exists between technical radiotherapy skills and understanding of cancer biology. When a clear biological rationale exists for the combination, there are several reasons to combine new drugs with precision radiotherapy.  For example, drugs such as DNA repair inhibitors can cause intrinsic radiosensitisation of the cancer target, and drugs such as PI3K pathway inhibitors can modulate tumour blood flow.  Conversely, radiotherapy can be immunostimulatory and has the potential to influence the systemic treatment of cancer. In this talk, I will describe examples of each of these treatment strategies from the translational work of my group over the past 8 years. Furthermore, I will explain why I believe biological imaging will be essential to the advancement of precision cancer therapy and to the success of new drug-radiotherapy combinations, including immuno-radio-oncology.

Ricky Sharma graduated in medicine from the University of Cambridge. He trained in general internal medicine, medical oncology and clinical oncology and completed a PhD on DNA damage repair.  He is an Associate Professor and Group Leader at the University of Oxford, where he leads a translational team of laboratory scientists and clinical fellows.  He is also an Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology at the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, where he has a clinical practice in both radiotherapy and chemotherapy for gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary malignancies.  Ricky Sharma is chief investigator for several national and international clinical trials involving cancer imaging and novel combinations of drugs and radiotherapy.

Host: Prof. Jonathan Ledermann, Cancer Institute Clinical Director

Drinks and nibbles will be provided following the seminar.