The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) has announced a £75 million investment into a new Centre for Cancer Drug Recovery. This Centre will bring together drug discovery and evolutionary science experts with the aim of anticipating and manipulating the ways in which cancer cells grow and adapt, an approach that represents a world first.
Chief Executive of the ICR, Professor Paul Workman, has commented that:
“Cancer’s ability to adapt, evolve and become drug resistant was the cause of the vast majority of deaths from the disease and the biggest challenge we face in overcoming it.”
This programme represents a radical change in treatment methodologies, moving away from ‘shock and awe’ chemotherapy treatments towards those that predict and influence mutations. This could involve developing drugs which:
- Limit the ability of cancer cells to evolve; or
- Guide evolution to create vulnerabilities and weaknesses
Deputy Director of cancer evolution at the Centre for Drug Discovery, Dr Andrea Sottoriva, commented that:
“Artificial intelligence and mathematical predictive methods have huge potential to get inside cancer’s head and predict what it is going to do next and how it will respond to new treatments.”
For further information, you can read the ICR’s press release here.