Elise Lepicard, PhD Researcher, The Institute of Cancer Research
Oracle Cancer Trust Research Programme
Improving a Head and Neck Tumour’s Sensitivity to Radiotherapy Treatment
Head and neck cancer (HNC) is the sixth most common form of cancer worldwide. Each year around 600,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with one of the 30 types. Our aim is that everyone diagnosed with HNC receives effective treatment and goes on to thrive, without experiencing side effects that can currently be so debilitating. We also want to improve the very variable 5-year survival rates of 25% - 65%.
The Hospital Saturday Fund has kindly supported our 4-year PhD study by Elise Lepicard at the Institute of Cancer Research. Elise͛’s pre-clinical studies could rapidly impact people’s treatment. She is using advanced imaging to assess how HNC responds to new agents aimed at preventing resistance to radiotherapy.
Elise has made good progress and has developed and implemented an OE-MRI (oxygen enhanced MRI) protocol and successfully tested it pre-clinically on three different cancer models. It revealed differences in the degree and distribution of oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) across these different tumour models. Hypoxia is important as it triggers metastatic behaviour leading to cancer spreading around the body. She also tracked the effects of a promising hypoxia modifying drug atovaquone. We look forward to seeing what she achieves in her final year and thank the Hospital Saturday Fund for all their support.
Oracle Cancer Trust
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