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Could a natural dietary component help improve the effects of common chemotherapy drugs?

  • Researcher: Professor Kevin Ryan
  • Institution: Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, Scotland
  • Award Amount: £196,958 for 3 years from 1st November 2016
  • Cancer Type: General Cancer Research
Could a natural dietary component help improve the effects of common chemotherapy drugs?
Professor Kevin Ryan and his team in Glasgow are investigating a potentially very simple way to improve survival rates for standard chemotherapy treatments.

“Despite the advent of targeted therapies, conventional chemotherapy remains the standard of care for many patients with cancer,” explains Professor Ryan. “And many patients are still receiving drugs that have not changed over decades.”

“For these patients, survival rates have generally little improved. New strategies to enhance the responses to these drugs are therefore greatly needed and hugely overdue.”

Professor Ryan and his team have spent years searching for compounds which could potentially help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy treatments, and now they think they have found one.

“In our laboratory we have discovered that higher levels of a naturally-occurring component of our diet might enhance the activity of two widely-used cancer drugs. We will now use this new funding to understand how this works. We will then conduct pre-clinical studies to determine the potential of this dietary component to enhance the effectiveness of drugs used to treat specific cancer types.”

“We hope that our studies will ultimately lead to human clinical trials aimed at improving therapy responses for long-term patient benefit.”
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