Oracle Cancer Trust -Update

November 12, 2019

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.



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The Hospital Saturday Fund 
A Registered Charity in the UK No 1123381 and in Ireland No 20104528
Registered Office: 24 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
President: The Lord Mayor of London
Chief Executive: Paul W Jackson MSc BA(Hons) DChA