Advanced therapy research has also benefited from successes of King’s faculty members. Dr John Maher’s team at King’s spinout Leucid Bio genetically reprogramme T cells – a type of cell in the immune system – to recognise and destroy cancer cells. Also, Professor Sophia Karagiannis and Professor James Spicer’s spin-out Epsilogen, which develops novel antibody drugs (immunoglobulin E) to treat cancer, has recently gained £30m in funding. Their engineered IgE, Mov18 IgE, is the world’s first IgE drug to enter clinical trials. GammaDelta Therapeutics, founded by Professor Adrian Hayday, was acquired by Takeda to accelerate development of allogeneic γδT Cell therapies against solid tumours.
We’ve also improved the quality of life for patients with acute-myeloid leukaemia and developed a new class of immunotherapy drug which could fight hard-to-treat cancers. Now, we look to a bright future where a staggering £30m has been invested into potentially ground-breaking research at King’s.
“Our Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s multidisciplinary faculty comprised of clinicians and non-clinical scientists have over the years adopted an integrative approach to address the cancer problem,” said Professor Tony Ng, Joint Head of the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“By working across the clinical-scientific interface we aim to enhance the translation of the excellent fundamental and translational science that we have within King’s and its hospital partners, in areas of focus such as advanced therapy and multimodal analyses complemented by machine learning, into tangible benefits for cancer patients. In addition, for enhancing the impact of our research, we have fostered several strategic relationships between KHP and our industry partners, working towards our shared goal of improving cancer patient outcomes.”
Researchers and clinicians working together
Last year, the Head and Neck Centre, at Guy’s Hospital, opened its doors for cancer patients in need. Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer globally, with around 1,000 people in the UK diagnosed every month. Despite advances in treatment, many of those diagnosed with head and neck cancer still lose their lives.
Guy’s Head and Neck Cancer Centre brings together a diverse range of programmes to offer patients the best possible care. As with all cancers, an early diagnosis is essential for best outcomes, and the centre aims to improve the ways they are treated by minimising side-effects, maximising treatment effectiveness and reducing rates of recurrence. The Centre also provides support services to improve the quality of life for those living with and beyond head and neck cancer.
The Centre has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Charles Wilson and Dr Rowena Olegario of Wilson + Olegario Philanthropy.